Inappropriate messages allegedly not reported to authorities
AUSTIN, Texas - A father of an O'Henry Middle School student is suing a former Special Education teacher. The father says Juan Facundo, using an assumed name, sent the victim inappropriate messages through Instagram and Snapchat, both of which were private.
The civil lawsuit was filed on Thursday, May 12. The father's lawyer says his client was forced to file it because school officials did not report the incident. And because of that, there was no other way for the father to obtain a temporary restraining order against Fecundo. It's alleged that Fecundo threatened the student if she told anyone about the messages.
The petition alleges that Juan Facundo showed a clear pattern of predatory behavior. He also threatened his victim not to tell. District Judge Gisela Triana granted the temporary restraining order late Friday afternoon. It states that Fecundo must stay at least 500 yards from his victim, and her family.
A timeline of the contact is also outlined in the lawsuit. It states that Facundo began contacting the student on May 2. She is not in his class. Over the next 4 days, Facundo sent his victim a series of messages. Including, attempting to "lure" her into his classroom. An invitation she declined.
O'Henry's Principal Pete Price was made aware of the allegations on May 6. The same day, Facundo agreed to resign from O'Henry, in exchange for ASID not saying why. The lawsuit then says the victim's mother contacted the Principal and told him she didn't feel comfortable with her child being at school at the same time as Facundo. Prinicpal Price told her he "would not be on campus for the rest of the year."
On May 11, the victim's father contacted the Principal Price for a meeting, he also asked for the message exchange between his daughter and Facundo. The lawsuit says Price refused to turn them over. The victim's father asked Price if he had filed a report with AISD. Price said he had not. He said Facundo was just a "gregrious guy" and that case "didn't rise to the level of a criminal offense." (In Texas, teachers are prohibited from contacting students. Educators are also required to report any communication or suspected abuse).
The victim's father contacted Child Protective Services, and Austin Police. After urging Principal Price to file a report with AISD Police, he did so. According to the lawsuit, only then was an investigation launched.
The lawsuit also alleges that because of the Principal's failure to report, Facundo had ample time to delete any evidence of his contact with the victim. As well as any possible evidence linking him to other victims. As part of the temporary restraining order, Judge Triana ordered Facundo to keep all contact between him and his victim.
Prior to working at AISD Facundo worked for Pflugerville ISD, from 2009-2015. From 2007-2010, he worked as a "permanent special needs substitute teacher."
Calls to AISD for comment were not returned.