Houston educators arrested in student abuse case

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by TIFFANY CRAIG

KHOU

Posted on November 23, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 23 at 3:00 PM

HOUSTON – A Sharpstown high school Spanish teacher was arrested Friday evening and accused of inappropriate behavior with students.

Ysidoro Rosales-Motola was arrested between 5 and 6 p.m. at a Motel 6. He was complaining of chest pains and taken by EMS to Ben Taub Hospital. He was then taken to jail by Houston police and is expected to be arraigned on Saturday.

Three administrators at Sharpstown High School have been charged with failing to report child abuse.

Principal Robert Gasparello faces a total of three charges, including two cases that involved allegations against a Sharpstown teacher.

According to court documents, two 17-year-old boys said teacher Motola touched them inappropriately on October 9 and 10.

Gasparello and assistant principals Silvio Leiva and Jason Thomson were told about one case, but never reported it to Houston Independent School District police or Houston PD, according to court documents.

Gasparello was also told about the second case, but failed to report it, court documents say.

A 16-year-old student made similar allegations against Motola back in May, but it’s not clear if he told anyone at the school.

Motola has been charged with one count of indecency with a child and two counts of inappropriate relations with a student. At last check, the Spanish teacher was still on the run.

In an unrelated case on October 19, a 17-year-old girl told her boyfriend that she was sexually assaulted before school. He told a coach and the coach told Gasparello , according to court documents. The principal didn’t report that case either.

"I think that pretty much every citizen knows that if you think that a kid is being molested you have—not only a legal duty—but a moral duty to report it," said Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson.

The Houston Independent School District released a statement Friday that said Principal Gasparello was reassigned to an off-campus location during the investigation.

"Additional district counselors are at the school to help address student concerns and questions. We thank all parents and students of Sharpstown for their cooperation and support this morning in helping make this a regular school day and ensuring our focus remains on teaching and learning."

Gasperello has a glowing reputation. He was the subject of a national documentary about turning around troubled schools.

The principal’s alleged role in the abuse case has people talking.

"Well I don’t know if he was trying to keep his reputation or not, or more concerned about his reputation than the child," said parent Cheryl Davis.

"What’s really on my mind, it’s like a total shock," said student Shalonda Moore. "I don’t believe anything like this would happen. That is not in our principal’s character. Okay. His character is helping us out, making sure we get to school on time, making sure we get our classes.

"I love my principal," said Jonae Collins. "I don’t really hold this against him at all. This is just a mistake he made and he has to face the consequences for. But, eventually, hopefully he’ll be back. But if he doesn’t I’ll still love him the same regardless.

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