La Joya ISD employee accused of molesting 10 students
Tue, 17 Feb 2009 14:20:18 GMT —
A former La Joya ISD computer lab instructor is behind bars after 10 elementary school students came forward with allegations that he molested them.
Clinton Elementary School employee Armando Gutierrez is accused of using candy to lure the first grade girls into alleged molestation sessions.
La Joya school district officials told Action 4 News that they suspended 35-year-old computer lab instructor in May 2008 when the allegations first surfaced.
More children came forward prompting investigators to ulimately charge Gutierrez with 10 counts of indecency with a child by contact.
La Joya ISD Police Chief Raul Gonzalez said authorites first learned of the allegations after the girls told their parents about the inappropriate behavior.
"The majority of them are consistent with what they've been telling us from the very beginning that they were touched in their private parts through outside their clothes, Gonzalez said.
Although it involves several students, La Joya school officials call this an isolated case and claim they have measures in place to prevent this type of conduct.
They insist that every employee goes through a thorough background investigation before hiring.
"If in that background investigation there's any indication whatsoever that this potential employee might put any of our children in harm's way, we will not employ that person with La Joya ISD in any capacity, Gonzalez said. But in this case, we didn't have that information.
School district officials confirmed that Gutierrez has been dismissed of his duties while police said he could face additional indecency charges.
Gutierrez remains in custody under a total of $2.5 million dollars in bonds.
If convicted, the former computer lab instructor could face two to 20 years in prison for each count.