Special education teacher arrested for child abuse

Julian Viescas
Julian Viescas is accused of shaking a blind, wheelchair bound student at an Albuquerque High School.

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A Rio Grande High School teacher is charged with child abuse, accused of violently shaking a blind and wheelchair-bound student. Witnesses told detectives with the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office the 14-year-old girl had scratched special education teacher Julian Viescas, 57, on Thursday.

Teacher’s aides told detectives Viescas then grabbed the girl’s face and shook her violently while yelling at her. Viescas was placed on paid administrative leave after the incident.

“He’s in a position of authority over her, he’s a teacher,” Detective Sam Ungaro with BCSO said. “The school is a safe environment and the parents of this little girl expected that she was going to be safe at school.”

Viescas told investigators that it was an accident, and that it looked bad because of the tone of his voice. Viescas was arrested Tuesday for child abuse. A judge released him on his own recognizance on Wednesday.

Detectives told News 13 there was another case two years ago that was never reported to them. According to BCSO, there were claims Viescas grabbed another special education student by the face and shook him.

An Albuquerque Public Schools spokesperson said there was an internal investigation then, and Viescas was put on leave. They said the incident, however, could not be substantiated, so it was never reported to law enforcement. APS said Viescas has worked as a special education teacher at Rio Grande High School since 2006. He also worked in the district in the late 1990s as a temporary employee.

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