Alexandria M. Vera, an eighth-grade English teacher at Stovall Middle School in Houston, told police in April that the relationship she had with one of her students started through messages on Instagram — and had evolved into a great love.
On Wednesday, two months after the police investigation began and nearly eight months after 24-year-old Vera allegedly started having sex with the eighth-grader, authorities issued a warrant for her arrest on a felony charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child. The student is under the age of 14.
Vera turned herself in at a suburban jail in Montgomery County and later was released on $100,000 bond, reported the Associated Press.
Court documents filed last week in a Harris County District Court offer a detailed look into Vera’s account of their blossoming relationship, which she told police was not only approved but celebrated by the boy’s parents. It wasn’t until April, when Stovall principal Elsa Wright got a tip about Vera, that the school district’s police department began investigating.
The English teacher admitted to both the principal and a police officer that she’d been having an ongoing relationship with the boy for months, court documents show.
The bizarre and layered saga began nearly a year ago, Vera told police, when she met the boy during summer school in 2015. She said at first he was rude, asking for her Instagram account name and sending her a follow request after she refused to provide it or accept his invitation, according to court records.
But their interactions picked up in the fall, when the regular school year began and the boy was assigned to one of her eighth-grade English classes. Vera described for police a period of flirting that she claims she initially resisted, until the month of September. The teacher said she became worried when the boy didn’t show up to class, so she sent him a message on Instagram and reminded him to turn in an upcoming assignment.
He replied, according to court documents, and asked for her phone number. Then the boy asked his teacher if they could hang out.
She said yes.
Vera drove the boy around in her car, she told police, and they kissed. The next day, when the boy’s parents weren’t home, she returned and the two had sex for the first time, according to the documents.
After that, the sexual encounters occurred almost daily, Vera told police.
“She stated that she and the Complainant had sex on almost a daily basis at her home and that they love each other,” police wrote in the documents.
In January, Vera said she discovered the boy had gotten her pregnant. When the couple told the boy’s family, according to the teacher, they were ecstatic and supportive.
His parents had known about the relationship since October, Vera told police, when they came to the school for an open house. Afterward, she was invited back to their home and introduced to the family as the boy’s girlfriend, documents say. They were “accepting of the relationship,” Vera told police, and she was welcomed to family gatherings thereafter.
— KPRC 2 Houston (@KPRC2) June 1, 2016
Things began to deteriorate in February, when an unannounced visit and questioning from Child Protective Services about the relationship spooked her. Vera denied the relationship and the pregnancy at the time, documents say, then chose to abort the baby. She did, however, hand over her cellphone and gave police permission to search it.
Police said they found “many messages” between the boy and his teacher, confirming much of the story Vera had revealed. In a separate interview, the boy also admitted to the sexual relationship, police said.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office told ABC 13 News that the parents could be charged with failure to report child abuse if they did indeed know about the relationship. The boy’s mother is being investigated by Child Protective Services, the TV station reported.
The Aldine Independent School District issued the following statement: “Aldine ISD has been made aware that charges have been filed against a former Stovall Middle School teacher involved in inappropriate behavior with a male student. When the allegation was made in April, the teacher was immediately removed from the school and placed on administrative leave. Aldine ISD Police investigated the incident and turned their findings over to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. The safety and security of Aldine ISD’s students and staff remains a priority of the school district.”
Wearing a Golden State Warriors T-shirt, Vera was captured on video leaving the jail Wednesday. When asked about the allegations, she told reporters she had a lawyer and did not want to comment.
Parents told various local media outlets they were appalled and shocked by the news.
“When you send your kid to the school, you think everything will be safe for them,” Gerson Bonilla told KPRC 2 Houston. “But I think this is something that is serious that needs to be investigated.”
One student told ABC 13 News that there was chatter among the student body about “suspicious behavior” between Vera and the boy, and that once he saw him grab the teacher’s butt.
Another parent, Mary Claycomb, told the TV station she just couldn’t believe the teacher would do this.
“I have chills because of this,” she said.