EDINBURG — Two years ago, a young woman met her future husband at Johnny Economedes High School.
At the time, Ms. G was a 17-year-old senior preparing for graduation. Oscar Gonzalez Jr. was her science teacher, more 20 years her senior.
Gonzalez slowly began wooing the teenager in April 2009, "making intimate advances towards her," according to a criminal complaint.
The teacher allegedly asked for her cell phone number. He learned where she lived. And he wanted to know what kind of car she drove.
Investigators said Gonzalez even took the effort to demand male peers stay away from Ms. G — the alias police gave her in the complaint.
"He would ask her for a hug and a kiss from her," the complaint states. "At one time, he kissed her on her lips while touching her lower back and breast."
Ms. G apparently gave in. The two began seeing each other after school.
Eventually, the relationship grew more serious, the complaint states.
Ms. G told police she skipped school on several occasions to meet her science teacher at a McAllen hotel for sex. The alleged victim, now an adult, provided specific dates but had forgotten the hotel’s name when she filed a formal complaint with Edinburg school district police last month.
In May 2009, Ms. G graduated from Economedes. With her diploma fresh in hand, she soon married Gonzalez.
But the former pupil who caught the teacher’s eye told police she became the victim of an abusive husband who assaulted her several times, the complaint states.
Edinburg police responded to several of the alleged assaults, the complaint states.
School police investigators checked attendance records and also obtained records from the McAllen Grand Plaza Hotel, 2721 S. 10th St.
Investigators determined Gonzalez used a debit card to pay for nine stays during April and June 2009. That, along with Ms. G’s account, led to Gonzalez’s arrest this month.
Ms. G gave her initial complaint to school district police Jan. 12. Officers arrested him this week.
Hidalgo County Justice of the Peace Charlie Espinoza formally charged Gonzalez with improper relationship between an educator and student, a second-degree felony. He posted a $5,000 bond Friday afternoon.
If convicted, Gonzalez faces between 2 and 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Gonzalez, now an instructional aide at Crawford Elementary, was suspended without paid leave two weeks ago after school administrators learned of the investigation, said Superintendent Rene Gutierrez.
Gonzalez was earning $17,574 for the 2009-2010 school year — a $658 bump from his prior annual salary.
Neal Morton covers education and general assignments for The Monitor. He can be reached at (956) 683-4472. Jared Taylor covers courts, law enforcement and general assignments for The Monitor. He can be reached at (956) 683-4439.