Crime

August 24, 2014

Ex-Fort Worth teacher accused in sexual abuse of student

A 52-year-old former Fort Worth teacher is accused of sexually assaulting a first-grade student.

A former Fort Worth first-grade teacher sexually assaulted a student in a classroom or in a bathroom every day until the student told a parent this summer, according to an arrest warrant affividavit obtained by the Star-Telegram late Friday.

The first-grader kept quiet out of fear that the man, Juan Jose Soto Rangel, would retaliate, the affidavit states.

Rangel, 52, repeatedly denied any wrongdoing to detectives when questioned a few days ago, according to the affidavit. He taught at W.J. Turner Elementary, 3000 Northwest 26th St., was arrested Aug. 17 and faces a charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14.

Rangel resigned Aug. 15 after six years in the district, school officials said. That was the day he took a polygraph test that indicated he was being deceptive when he answered questions about inappropriate touching, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit gave this brief account of the case:

The child asked on July 22 to live with another parent in order to attend a different school and said Rangel had touched private “parts” and made threats about telling anyone.

In a July 30 interview with a forensic interviewer, the child reported that the first abuse occurred in a restroom after art class. The touching also took place in the back of the class during reading, according to the affidavit.

The child said the episodes started before Christmas and continued daily through the end of the school year.

In interviews with detectives, Rangel described a few encounters with the child, but he denied that any were sexual.

Rangel, hired in August 2008, initially taught first grade and most recently taught third grade, district spokesman Clint Bond has said in an email.

School officials declined to say where Rangel taught during his six years in the district.

He was in the Tarrant County Jail on Sunday with bail set at $50,000 and was under a hold from the Department of Homeland Security.

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

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