Edna Mabel Longoria has been identified as the 39-year-old Mission Veterans’ Memorial High School teacher who has been arrested and charged for allegedly having an improper sexual relationship with an underage student.
According to reports, Longoria — of McAllen, Texas — turned herself into police on Thursday, March 28, and was taken to the Hidalgo County Jail, where her bond was set at $50,000.
She was officially charged with improper relationship between educator and student, which is a second-degree felony. If convicted of her crime, Longoria faces up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
While speaking to police investigators, the unidentified 17-year-old victim said the improper relationship began on Friday, February 22, 2019.
Additionally, authorities said that the victim showed police messages between him and the teacher that were “inappropriate” and “contained material of sexual nature”, according to CBS Austin.
Mission Veterans’ Memorial High School has since placed Longoria on administrative leave.
Longoria is just the latest in a string of education officials to be arrested and charged for sex-related crimes.
Since the beginning of 2019 alone, a handful of teachers have been arrested on similar charges, including Beulah High School teacher Kelsie Schmidt in North Dakota, Rancocas Valley Regional High School teacher Alexandra Reiner in New Jersey, and 50-year-old Florida substitute teacher Angela Jean Stanton in Florida. Additionally, Texas teacher Meredith Null was arrested on similar charges.
As for why there has been an increase in teacher’s being charged with sex-related crimes over recent years, studies suggest that smartphones are the primary reason for the spike in illicit relationships, as it allows teachers to communicate with the minors without supervision.
According to a report from the Texas Education Association, smartphones make easy for teachers to privately text and talk with students and also make it possible for teachers and students to share explicit images.
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