Marfa teacher charged in case of alleged improper relationship with student
By ALBERTO TOMAS HALPERN
MARFA – A Marfa junior high school teacher/coach has been charged with allegedly having an improper relationship with one of her students, according to Presidio County court records.
Rebecca Flores, 27, of Alpine was arrested last month and is free on a $35,000 bond set by Presidio County Justice of the Peace Cinderela Guevara.
The arrest affidavit states that Flores, “on or about April 27, 2012, in Marfa, Presidio County, Texas, did then and there intentionally and knowingly commit Improper Relationship between Educator and Student, a second degree felony.”
The affidavit goes on to say that Flores “engaged in sexual contact . . . with a juvenile male Marfa High School student in room 8 of the Marfa High School while employed as a teacher with Marfa Independent School District.”
The investigating officer is Texas Ranger Jeffrey Vajdos of Alpine.
In his statement of probable cause to JP Guevara, Vajdos states that the Presidio County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by Marfa ISD administrators who reported the sexual relationship between a teacher and student. Sheriff’s Deputy Ceasar Meledenz conducted numerous interviews to assist in the investigation.
The juvenile male also was interviewed by the Child Advocacy Center of the Big Bend, Vajdos, and HSI Special Agent Chuck Ainsworth, according to the affidavit.
“During the interviews, the juvenile male stated beginning in mid-April, 2012 he was involved in a sexual relationship with his teacher, Rebecca Flores.” According to the juvenile male, Rebecca Flores, who has taught in the Marfa schools for one year, initiated the relationship, the affidavit states.
The document goes on to say that the encounters occurred in her classroom.
“The statements of the juvenile male are supported by statements obtained from witnesses who are employed by the Marfa Independent School District and students of Marfa High School,” according to the affidavit.
The report also states that Flores engaged in phone sex with the student and that a “preliminary analysis and interviews regarding the data from the juvenile male’s cell phone and the phone belonging and utilized by Rebecca Flores,” corroborated the statement of text messaging and phone calls between the two.
Marfa Junior Senior High School Principal Cynthia Wimberly, referred all questions to Marfa ISD Superintendent Teloa Swinnea.
Swinnea said that the school district is cooperating with law enforcement in an investigation and that there is an employee on paid administrative leave. She said that commenting any further could interfere with the ongoing investigation. The teacher was placed on leave May 8.
Asked if Marfa ISD students are in a safe environment, school board President Robert Halpern said, “Yes, our students are safe. We believe this to be an extremely isolated incident and the administration, upon learning about this situation took immediate action and put the teacher on leave.
“Our well-trained staff knows how to react in a situation like this when an allegation like this occurs and that’s what happened in this case,” he said.
Guevara issued the arrest warrant for Flores on May 24. She was arrested on May 30 at the Presidio County Jail and was released at 9am the next day on a $35,000 bond following a bond hearing.
(Reporter Alberto Tomas Halpern is the son of school board member Robert Halpern, the editor and publisher of The Big Bend Sentinel.)
Story filed under: Top Stories