SAN MARCOS, Texas (ABP) — An employee of San Marcos Baptist Academy has been dismissed and subsequently arrested on charges of molesting a 17-year-old academy student.
Santiago “Jimmy” Morales Jr., 25, has been charged with “improper relationship between an educator and a student,” which is a second-degree felony, reported the San Marcos Daily Record.
The academy, affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas, is a school for 6th-12th graders. Of the 219 students, 54 are “day students” living off campus and the remainder are boarding students, President Vic Schmidt said.
The incident is reported to have occurred at Morales' off-campus apartment early Saturday, Jan. 24. The student subsequently told his dorm parents and counselor. The academy terminated Morales Tuesday, Jan. 27, and police arrested him Friday, Jan. 30.
Morales had been a student activities/recreation assistant and dormitory residential assistant since August 2002.
Schmidt said the academy had checked Morales' background thoroughly prior to employment and “had seen no indication at all” that such an incident might occur. “We basically thought we were doing everything possible.”
The president held a “Parents Day” shortly after the incident to speak with parents of students. All 219 students have remained enrolled at the academy, Schmidt said.
The incident marked the second time in four years that an academy employee has been charged with molestation, the Daily Record reported. Bradley Wayne Dixon, arrested in January 2000, was convicted on nine counts and is serving a 95-year sentence.
San Marcos has cooperated fully with authorities, said Schmidt.
The case against Morales appears to involve only one student, the Daily Record reported. As a second-degree felony, the charge could result in a prison sentence of two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.