A Texas teacher convicted of sex crimes involving a 14-year-old female student has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.
Nicholas Dominique Bueno, 28, was convicted of one count of enticement and attempted enticement of a minor following a bench trial in June, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
In May, Bueno pleaded guilty to three counts of transfer of obscene material to a minor.
Bueno was a science teacher and head boys’ basketball coach at O’Donnell High School in O’Donnell Independent School District, located in Lynn County south of Lubbock.
He was arrested in October 2022 after a school administrator notified the Lynn County Sheriff’s Office about allegations of an “inappropriate relationship” between Bueno and a student.
An investigation revealed that between September 23 and October 18, 2022, Bueno and the student exchanged thousands of messages.
“On numerous occasions the messages were controlling, grooming, sexual and enticing in nature,” according to the DOJ.
Bueno initially denied any contact with the student outside of school, but he later admitted to using a second phone to communicate with his 14-year-old victim and destroying the phone after his crimes were discovered.
He was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix, who also sentenced Bueno to 25 years of supervised release following imprisonment and ordered him to pay a $5,000 fine under the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.
Enticement is a federal offense punishable by 10 years to life in prison. Transfer of obscene materials to a minor is punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison.
A Texas anti-sex trafficking law enacted this year also makes it a state felony to groom children.
State records show Bueno’s Texas teacher certificate remains valid, but he is “under review” by the Texas Education Agency.
The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported that Bueno was in his first year at O’Donnell ISD but had previously taught at Seagraves and Lamesa ISDs.
Seagraves ISD Superintendent Joshua Goen committed suicide in December 2022, after being arrested for secretly recording female students in their locker rooms.
Texas Scorecard has reported on dozens of “bad apples”—Texas educators charged with sex crimes involving students.