ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A man who worked at an Albuquerque high school for years is now behind bars, accused of having a sexual relationship with a student.
Albuquerque Public Schools Police believe Carlos Ventura-Garcia, 29, had a relationship with a 17-year-old girl for several months.
According to a criminal complaint, Ventura-Garcia met the girl in a class at Valley High School where he was an educational assistant. APS confirmed to KRQE News 13 on Sunday that Ventura-Garcia has since been fired from the district.
On Sunday, Ventura-Garcia made a first appearance in metro court on charges of criminal sexual penetration and criminal sexual contact of a minor.
According to the complaint against Ventura-Garcia, police started investigating when the girl’s family stepped forward earlier this month, claiming their 17-year-old girl was dating Ventura-Garcia.
APS Police then interviewed the girl. According to the criminal complaint, the girl told investigators that she and Ventura-Garcia met at the beginning of the school year. The girl said the two has been seeing each other for several months and had exchanged numerous text messages.
The girl also told investigators that she and Ventura-Garcia had had sex twice in Ventura-Garcia’s car.
The complaint states that APS Police interviewed Ventura-Garcia and he admitted to officers that he had been having a relationship with the girl. Investigators say Ventura-Garcia admitted to having sex with the girl once in his car off campus.
Ventura-Garcia told investigators that “he knew the victim was 17 years of age and knew it was against school policy to be involved with a student, but he was lonely and depressed.”
APS told KRQE News 13 that no one was available for comment on the case Sunday. A district spokeswoman said Ventura-Garcia started with APS in 2011 and only worked at Valley High School. However, APS could not say to what extent Ventura-Garcia worked with students.
APS officials couldn’t say on Sunday whether or not the school has told parents about Ventura-Garcia’s arrest. The district says he was let go last Wednesday and will not be allowed back.