Another Texas employee has been arrested and charged with having an “inappropriate relationship” with a student.
Ennis Hernandez, 66, a Life Skills in-class support paraprofessional at Cypress Falls High School in Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District, is accused of touching one of his 17-year-old female students several times over the span of five months.
He is charged with two counts of an improper relationship between an educator and a student, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison. He is also charged with one count of sexual performance by a child, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Court reports say the student informed school officials she was consistently touched by Hernandez on her breast and genital areas, as well as her legs, back, and face, from September 2022 through February 2023. She said he would touch her in her fourth period classroom and in the school cafeteria.
The victim also alleged that, on occasion, Hernandez would ask her to touch him “down there.”
Hernandez has denied the claim.
He told authorities his job required him to occasionally “touch” students and this was the case with the victim. Hernandez claimed the only times he touched her were when he attempted to “calm her down” when she was “jumping up and down.”
The student said Hernandez showed her several obscene pictures of himself, including one completely nude photo and another where he was almost entirely nude.
At one point, Hernandez allegedly asked the teen to take a picture of herself with no clothes on after getting out of a shower. He also told her not to tell her mom, saying it would be a secret.
Hernandez has denied ever sending or asking for pictures.
However, during a consensual forensic search of the paraprofessional’s cellphone, investigators discovered several completely nude images of Hernandez, as well as images of his genitals. Investigators said they found images matching the descriptions given by the victim.
Also found in Hernandez’ phone were several pictures taken at the school of the victim and other students from the Life Skills class.
Court documents allege Hernandez would ask to join the student when she went to the bathroom to assist in “cleaning her.”
The student, now 18, reported Hernandez to the CFISD human resource director on February 27, 2023. According to CFISD’s statement to parents, Hernandez was placed on paid administrative leave the same day. He resigned on March 28, 2023.
Hernandez had worked at Cypress Falls High School since 2007.
His educator certificate, still valid on the Texas Education Agency’s website, is marked as “currently under review by the TEA Educator Investigations Division.”
Hernandez is the latest in a string of educators accused of misconduct involving sex crimes against students.