ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – New information in the case of an Albuquerque educational assistant charged with having sex with student indicates that the suspect had a prior dealing with police and the school he was fired from isn’t planning on formally telling many parents about his firing.
Carlos Ventura-Garcia, 29, was fired from Albuquerque Public Schools last week after police say he admitted to having a sexual relationship with a 17-year old girl. APS says Ventura-Garcia started working with the district in 2011 and only worked on the Valley High School campus.
Ventura-Garcia was fired Friday, March 14. He had been on administrative leave since March 7.
However, APS says Valley High only notified the parents of the handful kids who worked around Ventura-Garcia and the special program he was an “educational assistant” for. The district says the school likely won’t notify anyone else.
“We shouldn’t have to worry about that,” said Cynthia Schaller, a parent with a student enrolling in Valley High School.
“Oh gees,” another male parent said about the incident as he picked up his daughter at the school Monday.
The surprised, concerned reaction is what many Valley High School parents have expressed after hearing that Ventura-Garcia was fired and charged with criminal sexual penetration and criminal sexual contact of a minor.
APS Police began investigating Ventura-Garcia in early March after the family reported that their daughter was “dating” the man. According to a criminal complaint filed against Ventura-Garcia, he and the girl admitted to APS Police that they’d had sex in Ventura-Garcia’s car.
In the course of the investigation, Ventura-Garcia also admitted to kissing the girl on campus during school hours.
KRQE News 13 has also learned that Ventura-Garcia is also facing a domestic violence charge for allegedly pushing his wife in November 2013 during a divorce-related argument.
Ventura-Garcia’s former wife told police that he “had abused her in the past.”
APS declined an on-camera interview Monday about Ventura-Garcia’s firing. However, they believe Ventura-Garcia’s relationship with 17-year old Valley High student was the only one.
The school says it’s notified the 22 families who had kids that worked with Ventura-Garcia in the “behavioral intervention program,” but that’s it.
An APS spokeswoman said Monday that the school is not planning on telling anyone else because the program Ventura-Garcia worked in operates independently from Valley High’s main campus, in an isolated corner of the property.
However, Ventura-Garcia told investigators that he met the 17-year old girl in a ceramics class on the main part of campus. APS says the girl was a “regular student,” and not part of the “behavioral intervention program.” APS says Ventura-Garcia was not allowed on the main parts of campus without a purpose, however, that included escorting students from the BIP program to places where “regular students” were around.
Some parents say they’re not bothered that the school hasn’t sent notice to everyone.
“I don’t think they should have to send a letter, just so as long as its taken care of,” said Darla Sheetes.
But many others disagree, believing all parents should be notified.
“Definitely I would like to hear about that, yeah, very interesting,” said the male parent.
“I think parents have the right to know what’s going on with their children,” said Schaller.
APS told KRQE News 13 on Monday that it could not comment on whether or not it knew Ventura-Garcia was arrested for domestic violence charge in November. However, since he’s only been charged so far and not convicted, no one is legally required to tell the district.