An ex-third-grade teacher at Bellaire Elementary School has been sentenced to five years of probation in a 2015 molestation case involving his students.
Angel Sales, 26, of North Richland Hills received the sentence last week in Criminal District Court No. 371 in Fort Worth on two counts of injury to a child.
Sales got 60 months of probation with deferred adjudication.
Prosecutors could not be reached Monday for comment.
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The North Richland Hills man was hired Aug. 14, 2014, to teach bilingual classes in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford school district. He graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington and had no teaching experience when he was hired, according to the school district. All appropriate screening processes were in place when Sales was hired, school officials said.
Several girls in his class at Bellaire told investigators that Sales molested them as they stood beside his desk in the third-grade classroom, according to an arrest-warrant affidavit obtained by the Star-Telegram in August 2015.
Sales denied he molested any of the students, claiming the girls lied because they were mad at him for not letting them watch a movie, according to the affidavit.
Sales was arrested in August 2015 at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport as he returned on a flight from El Salvador, and was charged a few days later with indecency with a child/fondling.
Police began an investigation in June 2015 after officials with Child Protective Services alerted them that several girls at Bellaire made outcries about inappropriate touching by a teacher.
The six-page affidavit provided these details in the case:
After the outcries and during the summer of 2015, police interviewed more than five girls and a boy who had been Sales’ students at Bellaire. Most of the 9-year-old girls told detectives in Spanish through a translator that Sales touched their breast, buttocks and vaginal areas when they were standing at his desk.
The molestations happened in the classroom, and one girl estimated Sales touched her more than 12 times.
But in a July 9, 2015, interview with detectives, Sales claimed students were not allowed to come around his desk. He was accompanied to the interview with his attorney, Edwin Youngblood of Fort Worth.
Sales became upset with a detective when the officer declined to tell him exactly how many girls had made outcries, according to the affidavit.
The North Richland Hills man was placed on administrative leave after the district was notified of the CPS investigation, Hurst police said.
A letter was sent to third-grade parents May 22, 2015, notifying them of the investigation, district officials said. School officials notified the State Board for Educator Certification on May 26.
This report contains information from Star-Telegram archives.