Teacher Accused of Sexual Assault of Student - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Teacher Accused of Sexual Assault of Student



    A former Fort Worth science teacher has been arrested on suspicion of having sex with a male high school student.

    Jennifer RiojasFormer Amon Carter-Riverside High School teacher Jennifer Riojas was arrested Wednesday on a felony charge of sexual assault of a child under the age of 17.

    Riojas, who turns 26 Saturday, resigned from the Fort Worth Independent School District on Oct. 22 after she was accused of having sex with two male students.

    According to the arrest affidavit, Riojas had sex with an underage football player who she taught last year, when the student was in 10th grade.

    Teacher Arrested on Allegations of Sex With Student

    [DFW] Teacher Arrested on Allegations of Sex With Student
    A former science teacher is arrested on suspicion of having sex with an male underage student.
    (Published Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010)

    Fort Worth police said the student came forward because he was worried that he could be the father of Riojas' unborn child.

    "As soon as the detectives got the information and this case surfaced, they immediately went to work, conducted their investigation," Sgt. Pedro Criado said.

    According to the arrest affidavit, Riojas and the student would eat lunch together, and she attended his football games.

    The student told police they had sexual intercourse for the first time when he was hospitalized for a football injury when he was 16 years old.

    Riojas and the student, who is now 17, also had sex at different hotels near Northeast Mall, according to the arrest affidavit.

    The student did not respond to a request for comment when contacted last month.

    According to confidential school district documents obtained through the Texas Public Information Act, Riojas has denied the allegations. She told FWISD investigators that her relationship with the students may have been too friendly but denied doing anything inappropriate.

    "I am resigning after careful thought due to increased stress on my health and pregnancy because of current working conditions," Riojas wrote in her resignation letter. "I appreciate the opportunity that has been given to me by FWISD. I do not believe that at this stage in my life, secondary education is my calling."

    It is not known who the father of Riojas' unborn child is.

    A neighbor who did not want to be identified said Riojas was in the early stages of pregnancy, perhaps four months along.

    Riojas wrote in her resignation letter that, "I cannot omit the fact that my pregnancy is something that has been questioned."

    "I don't want high school gossip (which is entirely false) to be a cause of stress for me," she wrote.

    The school district is not commenting about the situation, only saying Riojas was an employee and she resigned.

    The other student Riojas allegedly had a relationship with did not want to speak with the media when contacted through his MySpace page.

    Two sources at the school independently provided both students' names. The sources did not want to be identified for fear of retaliation.

    NBCDFW.com does not generally name the victims of sexual assault.

    According to internal documents and both sources at Carter-Riverside High School, the relationships involved underage students and that at least one began last year when the student was a sophomore.

    Riojas was hired in August 2009, according to district records. Prior to becoming a teacher, she worked as a financial consultant at an investment firm.

    NBCDFW could not reach Riojas for comment at two addresses listed for her. A phone number could not be found.

    Calls last month to Carter-Riverside Principal Maria Sanchez for comment were not been returned, and she did not reply to follow-up e-mails.

    The Texas Education Agency is monitoring the results of the case. If convicted, Riojas could lose her teaching license.

    Riojas is free on $20,000 bail.

    NBCDFW's Susy Solis and Ellen Goldberg contributed to this report.