A former Texas high school teacher faces child sex trafficking charges in connection with a 15-year-old homeless girl who was working as a prostitute. The former teacher purportedly paid her to sexually role play with him.
On Feb. 4, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) authorities arrested Matthew John Turner, 34, on charges of trafficking a person less than 18 years of age and sexual performance by a child, the San Antonio Express News reported. The report cited police documents showing the homeless girl told DPS investigators she was forced to work as a prostitute for money. She said Turner was one of her repeat clients with whom she met on multiple occasions last fall. She also told police that Turner allegedly handcuffed and choked her, paying the minor to engage in sexual acts with him. The girl said she only knew him as “Cuffs.”
KSAT 12 (ABC) reported the girl told DPS investigators that Turner knew she was only 15-years-old and remembered him because he was always overweight and sweaty. The teen divulged to police that Turner asked her to introduce him to an even younger 9-year-old girl. Investigators learned of Turner’s identity through his cellphone number.
The arrest warrant detailed the crimes Turner was accused of committing against the homeless girl. It pointed out that around August or September 2015, Turner took advantage of the hungry victim by giving her money to perform sex acts, according to KENS 5 (CBS) .
Employed as a theatre arts teacher at Judson High School since Aug. 2012, Turner was already under investigation by local authorities following accusations of his inappropriate behavior with a 16-year-old female student at the high school. On Jan. 4, 2016, he resigned from the Judson Independent School District once the district launched an investigation prompted by the 16-year-old’s parent who accused Turner of sending inappropriate text messages to her daughter. Turner purportedly offered to pay this girl money to allow him to photograph her bare stomach. It is not clear if she was one of Turner’s student. The investigation into this matter continues, according the San Antonio ABC TV affiliate.
Turner was the second Judson High School teacher arrested within two weeks for alleged sexual misconduct. The San Antonio Express News noted one of the high school’s social studies teachers, Reginald Ardale Johnson, 43, was accused of inappropriately touching at least two underage girls on several occasions. These incidents happened at two different apartments, both rented by Johnson, one in San Antonio, the other nearby in Converse, while a third occurred at the home of one of the alleged victims, according to police documents. Johnson resigned from the school district in December when these accusations surfaced. Later, on Jan. 26, he was arrested and charged with indecency with a child by contact. The affidavit did not indicate if any of the alleged victims were Johnson’s students.
Breitbart Texas reports on inappropriate educator-student relationships. The 2014-15 school year marked the 7th consecutive year that cases of Texas teacher sexual misconduct with students increased, reflecting a 53 percent increase in these types of Texas Education Agency investigations over the past seven years.
Although not in the same school district as Turner, another Texas teacher was one of the nearly four dozen individuals arrested in a large Central Texas prostitution undercover operation last week. The San Antonio newspaper reported Shane Tuck, 36, a social studies and world geography teacher at Ranger High School, was charged with prostitution during the sting. According to the Waco Tribune, when asked about Tuck’s employment status given the charges, Ranger ISD Superintendent Michael Thompson maintained: “The matter is currently under investigation.”
Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.