On June 19, Jesus Cantu, a Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA) Memorial Early College High School paraprofessional, was arrested for sexual assault in an alleged improper relationship with a female student.

The victim, a 16-year-old girl, who was initially reported as a run-away in Alamo, was found roaming the streets early in the morning on June 6 by San Juan authorities. Lost and confused, she gave the officers the address to her “father’s house,” where Cantu denied guardianship of the child and claimed “they were just friends.” Cantu was terminated by PSJA that same day.

According to the criminal complaint, further investigation reveals the 16-year-old girl admitted to being “in love” with Cantu, was staying at his residence since she left home, and had an intimate relationship with him before she was found on the streets.

Cantu has had his license in Educational Aide II since September 2009 and is currently under review by the TEA Educator Investigations Division. Cantu has been in Hidalgo County Sherriff’s custody since his arrest on June 19, with a $250,000 cash surety bond. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison on both second-degree felony charges.

Miriam Cepeda

Miriam Cepeda is the Rio Grande Valley Bureau Chief for Texas Scorecard. A second-generation Mexican American, she is both fluent in English and Spanish and has been influential in grassroots organizing and conservative engagement within Hispanic communities. If you don’t find her “Trumping”, you can find her saving animals, running her dog, hiking the Andes, or volunteering with the U.S. National Park Service.