A Texas high school math teacher, accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old student, admitted she and the boy had sex four to five times, say police.
The teacher, Erica Dinora Gomez, was arrested by Austin police Monday night on second degree felony charges of the sexual assault of a child and improper relationship between an educator and a student.
Gomez, 23, was a first year math teacher at Bowie High School in the Austin Independent School District. Last year, she worked there as a substitute teacher. Police said the identified male minor met Gomez last January when she tutored him in math at school. According to Austin police, the relationship turned sexual around August right before school began this year.
On Tuesday night, parents gathered for an emergency meeting held at the high school. School officials and local law enforcement addressed the situation, according to KVUE. Austin police said Gomez and the 15-year-old admitted to the sexual relationship. However, based on their interviews with the suspect, officers said they had not seen any evidence to suggest other individuals were affected or involved. Nonetheless, the high school indicated counselors would be available to students, if necessary.
Brandon Poe, a detective with the Austin Police Department’s child abuse unit, interviewed Gomez on Monday.
“I did interview her and there was a confession,” said Poe. “The confession corroborated the information that had been provided by the victim. She also did corroborate that there is no concern for other victims.”
Gomez told police she and the boy engaged in sexual intercourse four or five times over the past few months, according to the affidavit. She said the last time they had sex was on Sunday morning.
Austin police said they learned of the allegations in a 9-1-1 call from the mother of the juvenile on Sunday. She found sexually explicit Snapchat messages on her son’s cell phone from a user named “Special,” according to the arrest warrant. When the woman clicked on the name, it revealed “Special’s” real name which was “Ericadinora.” The boy’s mother then searched for that name over Facebook and, in doing so, realized this was the 15-year-old’s former math tutor who, this year, began teaching at Bowie High where the boy attends school.
In one of the Snapchat messages, Gomez referenced “fun in the back seat” car sex with the boy. The Austin American-Statesman reported that social media comment read: “Babe…We’ve had car sex twice…Like that blows my mind LOL.”
The affidavit stated that the mother told police she suspected the relationship had been ongoing for several months because other individuals informed her they saw, on occasion, the teacher drop off the 15-year-old at their apartment complex.
Bowie High School Principal Mark Robinson apprised parents of the matter by letter on Monday. According to the Statesman, Robinson said the school district initially placed Gomez on administrative leave when the allegations surfaced. Since then, the district took action to terminate her employment and report the incident to the Texas Education Agency (TEA).
Jail records show Gomez remains in the Travis County Jail on $75,000 bail, of which $50,000 reflects the sexual assault of a child charge. If convicted, she faces between two and 20 years in prison for each felony.
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