Saturday, September 30, 2023

Former Sharyland High School secretary charged with sexual harassment of student

A former Sharyland Independent School District employee is in custody after a 16-year-old student accused her of sexual assault, according to an affidavit.

Hidalgo County Jail records show Samantha Lee Carranza was charged with inappropriate relationship between educator and student and sexual assault of a child.

Carranza, a former assistant principal at Sharyland High School, was arrested following an alleged assault that a 16-year-old student reported to Mission police on Sept. 1.

According to the affidavit, the student, identified as “Cris,” said he went to Carranza’s office on Thursday, Aug. 31, to borrow a cell phone charger. Carranza told the student to stay and charge his phone near his desk.

Carranza then began talking to the student about her family and told her that she was getting a divorce.

“Cris claims the defendant then showed him a photo of her breasts from her cell phone, which made him uncomfortable,” the statement said. “Cris explains that he began walking towards the conference room door and the defendant then closed the door and told him, ‘You’re not going anywhere’.”

According to the statement, Carranza then performed a sexual act on her and told her that if she told anyone about the incident, she would “blame everything on him.”

In a statement, Sharyland ISD spokeswoman Nancy Barboza said Carranza had been cooperating with the district through Sept. 7 and referred any further investigation to Mission police.

Read the full statement below:

“We recently received a report of inappropriate behavior at Sharyland High School, which prompted an immediate investigation. We have actively collaborated with government agencies and multiple agencies, including the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and Child Protective Services (CPS).

The District believes the reported conduct served as the basis for the arrest of the former employee, Ms. Samantha Carranza. Ms. Carranza served as a paraprofessional with the District until September 7, 2023. Because the investigation is ongoing, we ask that all further inquiries be directed to the Mission Police Department, the lead agency overseeing this matter.

At Sharyland Independent School District, the safety and well-being of our students and staff is our top priority. The District follows all legal requirements to conduct a satisfactory criminal background check on each new employee prior to employment. Additionally, there are protocols in place for reporting misconduct. Our unwavering commitment is to providing a safe and nurturing environment for every member of the SISD community. “The district has a strict zero-tolerance policy when it comes to inappropriate behavior between staff and students.”

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