A local teacher in Bay City ISD (BCISD) has been charged with soliciting a minor online and having an improper relationship with a 13-year old student.
Detectives from the Bay City Police Department (BCPD) were called to Bay City High School Dec. 15 to meet with BCISD police officers after an event that happened the day before.
According to a BCPD press release, the child’s father found 44-year old Rachel Gonzalez in the back seat of a car with the victim. The car was in a parking lot in the 5200 block of Oak Manor Blvd.
District Attorney Steve Reis asked that BCISD police turn the case over to the BCPD detectives for further investigation. Detectives got a warrant to go through the victim’s cellphone and, upon finding evidence of the improper relationship, immediately sought warrants to arrest Gonzalez.
Detectives arrested Gonzalez Friday afternoon and booked her into the Matagorda County Jail. She was charged with online solicitation of a minor and improper relationship between a teacher and student.
According to the sheriff's office, Gonzales bonded out on both charges for $10,000 each. No trial date will be set until a grand jury has reviewed the case.
Gonzalez was a fourth-grade teacher at Cherry Elementary. She resigned Dec. 15, according to BCISD.
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) issued a report in September the number of cases against teachers accused of improper relationships with students rose 36 percent in 2017. This is the ninth year in a row for a statistical increase in Texas. The TEA opened 302 investigations into improper relationships this fiscal year and 1,503 since 2010.
State lawmakers passed Senate Bill 7 in March of this year and it took effect Sept. 1. The law now penalizes principals and superintendents who don't report teacher-student relationships, a second-degree felony in Texas.