Daniel Marcus Valdez, a teacher and coach at IDEA Public Schools, was escorted off campus and placed on administrative leave Monday morning after his arrest and charge with online solicitation of a minor, according to the school's Assistant Principal Alban Benavides.
Authorities in Jim Wells County arrested the 37-year-old San Antonio man Friday evening. Valdez drove from his San Antonio home to Alice with the intention of having sex with a minor, according to Jim Wells County investigators.
After his arrest, Jim Wells County Sheriff Daniel Bueno confirmed that three young ladies from the Bexar County and Castroville area have accused Valdez of online solicitation as of Tuesday.
On Monday, Investigators contacted the school district who released a statement.
"IDEA Public Schools is committed to ensuring the safety of our students on the road to and through college. Allegations have been made about an IDEA South Flores Academy employee. The employee is currently on administrative leave. IDEA Public Schools is cooperating fully with the investigation, and we have taken all appropriate actions in accordance with the law and network policy. As this is an ongoing investigation, we cannot comment any further. All questions should be directed to Jim Wells County."
According to JWC authorities, Valdez befriended a minor through social media. The minor reported Valdez to her parents and authorities after she became "spooked." The report prompted an immediate investigation.
According to investigators, Valdez allegedly sent explicit photographs of himself and asked the minor for sex.
After a week long investigation, Jim Wells County investigators with the assistance of the Texas Rangers caught up with Valdez at a vacant apartment on Woodworth Street, where officers set up as a meeting place. Valdez thought he was meeting the minor, but instead opened the door to deputies in place to arrest him.
Investigators found alcohol and condoms inside the suspect's vehicle, said Lt. Alan Gonzalez with the JWC Sheriff's Department.
"This is a sensitive, but serious case," said JWC Sheriff Daniel Bueno. "It's a scary situation when an adult prys on girls or boys."
The sheriff urges parents to take this case as a warning to keep their children safe.
"Parents remember these are your phones. Check them, see who they are talking with and what they are doing online," he stated.
Valdez was charged with online solicitation of a minor, a third degree felony. Other charges are pending as the investigation continues.
"This is serious and has potential for there to be other victims," Gonzalez stated. "We are closely monitoring and following the investigation. Anyone who (recognizes) this man's photo and who may be a victim should contact us."
Sheriff Bueno called the Texas Education Agency in an attempt to gather Valdez's work history as an educator. His calls have not been returned.
According to investigators, online solicitation of a minor occurs when an adult knowingly tries to obtain any form of sexual contact with a minor through the use of the internet.
Valdez was booked into the JWC jail and released on a $30,000 bond.