Joel Calderon, Tempe High School Student-Teacher, Accused of Having Sex with Student
Tempe High School
For the second time in as many years, a teacher at Tempe High School is accused of having sex with a student.
This time, police arrested 26-year-old Joel Calderon, a student of Arizona State University's education program who was a student-teacher in the high school's math department.
According to court documents obtained by New Times, Calderon "friended" the 16-year-old girl he's accused of having sex with on Facebook, which he also used to contact other students.
Another student tipped off the administration, which in turn contacted police.
Calderon admitted to a school superintendent that the girl spent the night at his place twice, and he said they were "making out" and he touched her breasts, according to court documents.
The girl described a bit more than that to police, including oral sex -- which Calderon eventually admitted to in an interview with police, court documents state.
According to the documents, Calderon acknowledged in Facebook chats that what he was doing was inappropriate but said he "would not be considered a teacher because he was not employed by the high school."
Sex with a minor over the age of 15 is a class six felony, the lowest level of felony charge in Arizona, unless "the person is or was the minor's parent, stepparent, adoptive parent, legal guardian, or foster parent or the minor's teacher or clergyman or priest," which makes it a class two felony -- the second-highest level.
According to state law, "For the purposes of this section, "teacher" means a certificated teacher as defined in section 15-501 or any other person who provides instruction to pupils in any school district, charter school or accommodation school, the Arizona state schools for the deaf and the blind or a private school in this state."
Thus, Calderon was booked into jail on six charges of sexual conduct with a minor -- the class-two variety.
"The investigation is ongoing with the possibility of additional charges," Tempe Police Sergeant Michael Pooley says in an e-mail.
In last year's incident at Tempe High School, 23-year-old assistant band director Andrew Islas was arrested after a 16-year-old student told police they had sex in a public park in Tempe.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Phoenix, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.