A Texas teacher is now facing charges after a father allegedly caught his teen son having car sex with her over Christmas break.
Rachel Gonzales, 44, was reportedly engaging in sexual contact with a 13-year-old Bay City ISD student around December 14. The couple was found at “a parking lot” in a residential neighborhood. The student’s father alerted the school district’s police department, which later turned the case over to municipal detectives according to requests from the local district attorney’s office, BCPD reported on its Facebook page.
Bay City investigators received a search warrant to seize and unlock the teen’s mobile phone, which reportedly contained conversations regarding a sexual relationship.
Video courtesy: abc7.com
The BCPD notes that on December 22, Gonzales was booked in the Matagorda County Jail on charges of On-Line Solicitation of a Minor and Improper Relationship Between Educator and Student.
This year, Texas lawmakers passed Senate Bill 7 to curtail the state’s vexing epidemic of educator-student sexual misconduct. Cases soared over the past nine years, resulting in a record 302 investigations opened by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in 2016-17. Breitbart Texas reported this reflected a jump of 36 percent from the 222 cases opened in 2015-16, and a 145 percent increase since 2008-09 when the TEA began tracking these illicit interludes. That year, they reported 123 cases.
In May, Governor Greg Abbott signed SB 7 into law and it went into effect on September 1. It closes loopholes, imposes stiffer penalties on those convicted of improper relationships with students or minors, and holds other school administrators to account with jail time and fines if they fail to report this wanton behavior.
Before SB 7, it was not a crime when an educator had an intimate sexual affair with a student who was 17, the age of consent, and if the teacher worked in a different school district than where the student attended, or when no sexual contact occurred but the adult initiated the solicitation of a romantic relationship with a student, Breitbart Texas reported. SB 7 criminalized such actions.
Additionally, education professionals convicted of sexual misconduct will now lose their teaching credentials and forfeit their pensions even when they only receive deferred adjudication as punishment.
The law also requires teachers, in general, to attend ongoing professional development classes that reinforce appropriate boundaries, relationships, and communications with students. SB 7 mandates that school districts adopt written policies that clearly define appropriate electronic communications among faculty, staff, and students to thwart social media communications from spiraling off into lewd text messaging and inappropriate sexual activities.
Recent tallies indicate that at least 68 cases of improper educator relationships with a student or minor were opened in Texas between September 1 and November 30.