Fort Worth teacher accused of sex with underage student

FORT WORTH -- A former Carter-Riverside High School teacher was arrested Wednesday on a warrant accusing her of having sex with a student starting last year, when he was 16.

Jennifer Lee Riojas, who turns 26 on Saturday, taught ninth-grade science until she resigned Oct. 21 during a school district and police investigation, a school spokesman said. She faces a charge of sexual assault of a child under 17.

Riojas was in the Mansfield Jail on Wednesday night with bail set at $20,000.

According to the arrest-warrant affidavit filed by a Fort Worth detective, the school district notified police Oct. 19 that they were "investigating a teacher who was having a sexual relationship with a student."

The detective reported that he interviewed the student Oct. 20.

The teen told the detective that he was in Riojas' first-period class as a sophomore in fall 2009. After a while, he started spending lunch periods in her classroom. He was on the football team, and she started attending games, according to the affidavit. Riojas visited him while he was hospitalized for a sports injury in December, and they had sex for the first time in his hospital bed, the detective reported.

Later, the teen said, they had sex in rooms Riojas rented at hotels near North East Mall. The detective confirmed that Riojas paid for rooms at a Hurst hotel on Dec. 10 and Jan. 28.

Riojas declined to talk to the detective, according to the affidavit.

She started teaching at Carter-Riverside in August 2009 and was on a probationary contract, district spokesman Clint Bond said.

The district's Office of Professional Standards became "aware of a concern" about Riojas in October, Bond said. He declined to elaborate.

"They checked into it, had a discussion with her, she resigned, and we turned our information over to the police," Bond said.

Staff writer Deanna Boyd contributed to this report.

Eva-Marie Ayala, 817-390-7700

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752