HOUSTON, Texas (FOX 26) -
UPDATE 4/6/2017: Former HISD employee now missing after being accused of impregnating a 13-year-old student. A warrant has now been issued for Mauricio Mendoza.
Mauricio Mendoza, 37, appeared in court today after a day being arrested on Thursday for allegedly impregnating a 13 year old girl.Thursday, the victim’s mother found inappropriate text messages between her daughter and Mendoza.
"The allegations were that some of the inappropriate contact occurred inside of his office and I also believe in the library of the school", says an assistant district attorney for Harris County Patrick Stayton.
The girl has since been taken to a Children’s Assessment Center and has tested positive for being pregnant.
Mendoza was released on a $50,000.00 bond, however the judge decided to hold him until he could bring in his visa and passport.
HISD Officials sent us a statement confirming the investigation that says, “The allegations were first reported to school officials in December at which time he was removed from the campus and an internal investigation began. The administration also notified HISD Police and Children's Protective Services (CPS) of the allegation”.
Parents of students at Hartman Middle School spoke to us, voicing their concerns. "I was wondering why nobody from the school never notified the parents or anything, of that nature, I didn't receive a letter or anything", says Demetria Corby. “They have to have a full thorough investigation, they just need to be more prepared on who they hire", says another parent April Ortiz.
According to Senator Paul Bettencourt, in 2016 222 cases of teacher student allegations were reported. He says that this year, the number has already gone up. Senator Bettencourt says, "in fact we've seen a 40% percent increase of these cases at the state level in just five months".
A reason why he authored Senate Bill 7, which would make it harder for districts to hire, but also take away teachers licenses and pensions when involved in these cases. "If the educators are going to get involved in this they are going to lose their license, if the principals and the superintendents don't report within a week, they are going to be subject to very strict penalties, we just can't turn a blind eye to this anymore", says Senator Bettencourt.