A Texas elementary school teacher is behind bars after she was caught having sex with a 13-year-old in the back seat of a car by the victim’s father earlier this month, leading to an investigation that determined Gonzalez had pursued an inappropriate relationship with the minor.
Rachel Gonzalez, a 44-year-old teacher employed by Bay City ISD, was arrested on Friday and charged with online solicitation of a minor and improper relationship between educator and student, KHOU-TV reported.
In a statement, the school district revealed that it had received a report about the improper relationship between Gonzalez and the 13-year-old, a student at another school in the district, and promptly handed the case over to the Bay City Police Department.
“While I cannot provide additional information at this time that could possibly compromise the legal process underway or the safety and well-being of BCISD students, I want to assure our parents and community that student welfare is our top priority,” said BCISD Board of Trustees President Bob Klepac.
The tip-off from the father of the victim led investigators to execute a search warrant on the victim’s phone. They discovered a trove of messages between Gonzalez and the student that confirmed her illicit intentions and quickly acted to arrest her.
Gonzalez, a fourth-grade teacher at Cherry Elementary until her resignation on December 15, was booked at the Matagorda County Jail. She was released after posting bond.
Texas state lawmakers passed a bill in March hoping to crack down on inappropriate relationships between teachers and students, the Bay City Tribune reported. Effective September 1, principals and superintendents who do not report teacher-student relationships to law enforcement could be punished by a second-degree felony charge.