High School Teacher Arrested for Applying to Marry Student

By: Andrea Canning, ABC News
By: Andrea Canning, ABC News

A teacher in Texas was arrested after he applied for a marriage license with his teenage student.

He's a 27-year-old Spanish teacher -- she's just 17.

Teacher -student relationships are on the rise.

One survey found 1,500 such cases between 2001 and 2005.

ABC's Andrea Canning has more on the story and this alarming trend.

It's one photo that may not make the wedding album.

27-year-old track coach and Spanish teacher, Randy Arias was arrested after applying for this marriage license with 17-year-old student Brenda Guerra.

Police say the pair had secretly started dating just one month ago.

Police learned of the high school relationship in Austin, Texas from an anonymous caller.

"Whoever did call was made a good judgement call." said Lt. Eric Mendez, AISD Police.

Court documents say "Arias asked her to the movies around the first weekend in March 2008 and then took her back to his apartment where they had sexual intercourse."

"They met on the weekends and from there it just kind of blossomed," stated Mendez.

Arias now faces up to 20 years behind bars.

Police say even though the affair was consensual, in Texas any sexual relationship between a teacher and a student at the same school is a second degree felony.

The case conjures up memories of former teacher Mary Kay Letourneau who went to prison for having a child with her 12- year-old student, who she later married.

In North Carolina last year, 40-year-old running coach Brenton Wuchae married his 16-year-old star runner Wendy Hager.

Hager's parents told Good Morning America they did all they could to keep them apart, but reluctantly signed the consent form.

"The hardest thing I've ever done in my life. But we have to move on," said Hager's parents.

Neither Arias or Guerra have spoken out, but her mother who gave her blessing told the AP the reason was "for love"

The teacher was charged even though the girl's mother had already given her blessing to their marriage, going with them when they applied for a license.

An official of the Texas district and county attorneys office says if there is a conviction the result is typically probation.

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