Texas public and charter school students barely got settled into their new classrooms Monday when three new cases of teacher-student sexual misconduct emerged.
Robison Elementary school teacher Nicole Jakubiak, 36, faced a judge following accusations she had sexual relations with an 18-year-old male high school foreign exchange student. The Swedish teen lived in the home with Jakubiak and her husband at the time of the impropriety. On August 22, she was charged with having an improper teacher-student relationship.
Houston’s KTRK 13 reported the allegedly elicit conduct took place from March through May. Jakubiak, who taught first grade in the Cypress-Fairbanks (Cy-Fair) Independent School District, admitted to having an affair with the young man but did not want to seem like a predator, according to the affidavit. The teen told investigators the two had sex 20 to 30 times in the master bedroom, his bedroom, and the playroom.
— Drew Karedes (@DrewKaredesKHOU) August 22, 2016
Authorities later found semi-nude photos of Jakubiak and text messages on the boy’s iPhone which validated their dalliance and was only exposed after Jakubiak confided in two colleagues about the affair. One of the teachers tipped off Robison’s principal. This same teacher told police Jakubiak purportedly tried to rush a team meeting to spend time with the student before her husband got home. She also said she received a text message from Jakubiak on May 18 indicating the relationship with the student ended, according to KTRK 13.
Jakubiak also appeared in court on Friday, August 19 and was released on $20,000 bail. She did not understand why the relationship was considered illegal. The boy was legally an adult. However, Texas law states it is illegal for a teacher to have a sexual relationship with a student in the same school district, even if that student is of legal age. The teen attended a high school in Cy-Fair ISD where Jakubiak taught.
Monday, she left the courtroom with her attorney Monday, draping what appeared to be fabric over her head to shield her face from the view of news cameramen who trailed her up to the elevator doors.
Also on August 22, U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced that former Cumby ISD teacher, Lucas Hill, 39, was sentenced to nearly 34 years (405 months) in federal prison. He pleaded guilty to coercion or enticement of a minor in February. Previously, east Texas authorities charged Hill with producing child pornography, enticing and coercing a minor, and transferring obscene matter to a child younger than 16-years-old.
The case emerged when an investigator in Louisiana received a complaint from a family who found an unknown person put photographs of their underage son online to create a fictitious Facebook account named “Aaron Cage.” A probe by Hopkins County officials revealed “Aaron Cage” accessed Facebook from Hill’s residence in Sulphur Springs, Texas.
Hill purportedly created the bogus social media profile to connect with underage girls, mostly 13 to 15 years-old, from October 2013 through 2015. He used the boy’s likeness on Facebook without the minor’s consent or knowledge. The junior high and high school math teacher may have come in contact online with girls who attended Cumby schools, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Texas. Allegedly, Hill chatted with girls online, often persuading them to engage in sexually explicit conduct including producing images and videos of themselves performing sexual acts.
A federal grand jury indicted Hill on July 15, 2015. At the time, KLTV 7 (ABC) reported Bales said: “These predators will take advantage of the child’s need to be accepted. A sense that somehow with the ‘Aaron Cage’ persona is interested in them, loves them.”
Bales urged parents to understand the nature of the internet to best protect their children. “There are no locked doors,” he added, emphasizing there are only safeguards. “Talk to your kids, understand what the software is on their smart phone or their computer devices.”
In Fort Bend County, authorities arrested Lamar Consolidated ISD teacher’s aide Joe Ross, 51, Friday. He stands accused of possessing child pornography. Detectives believed he may have had inappropriate contact with three students at Pink Elementary where, previously, Ross was a substitute teacher. Authorities booked him into the county jail. He remains there on $40,000 bail.
Ross worked with area children for over a decade. The Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force headed up this investigation. They uncovered “a significant amount of child pornography” in Ross’ residence.
“I can assure our residents that we are aggressively addressing the issue of individuals trying to exploit our children on the internet,” said the county’s Sheriff Troy E. Nehls. “We have a dedicated group of detectives to investigate these types of offenses and we will continue to diligently pursue these predators.”
Every year, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) releases annual figures of reported teacher-student sexual misconduct cases at the end of their fiscal year, which is on August 31. Some news outlets already previewed as high as 207 cases for the 2015-2016 school year. Last year, TEA reported 188 known cases.
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