Ex-mariachi director to lose teacher certification in student sex scandal
Tue, 01 Oct 2013 03:35:37 GMT —
Nearly 7 months after Homero Gutierrez's arrest on a charge of improper relationship between an educator and student, the former Edcouch Elsa High School mariachi director strikes a plea deal and admits he's guilty on a lesser charge of indecency with a child by exposure.
It's still a felony but the sentence avoids jail time.
He's given 10 years deferred adjudication which means if he behaves and carries out all conditions imposed on him his public record would be cleared.
Despite no jail time, Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra says the defendant did not get lucky.
"When you're a professional and you get arrested and you go to court and you admit to a felony violation of this nature, you don't come away with an unblemished record and I don't know if anybody would want to hire him in the future," he explained.
The Texas Education Agency still lists Homero's certification as "valid" as of Monday.
But based on the Texas Administrative Code: "Anyone engaged in or solicited any sexual contact or romantic relationship with a student or minor" faces permanent revocation.
The 38-year-old had a sexual relationship with a female student over the course of two years, according to police.
Court documents state it began in the summer of 2011 when he was 35 and she was 16.
Her parents contacted police after learning about the relationship.
However, the D.A. says he couldn't pursue the higher charge because the victim was reluctant to cooperate.
Both she and the defendant were reportedly in love at the time.
"Without the testimony of victims, I can't prove cases," Rene said. "And that's a big obstacle for me and prosecutors... statewide and nationwide."
The victim's attorney, John Rodriguez, says the student and her family opted for the plea deal to put the traumatic experience behind them.
He says she did not want to relive it on the stand and feared continued ridicule from people in the community who felt she ruined the educator TMs life.
They only accepted it under the condition he could no longer teach and harm another student again, according to John.
Homero TMs attorney, Marco De Luna, says he will only comment on the case after he spoke with his client.
Action 4 News did not get a return call from me as of Monday evening.