Thanks to the vigilant work of a school teacher a 31-year-old man was arrested in connection with the physical abuse of his two stepsons, according to Jim Wells County Sheriff Daniel Bueno.

On Tuesday investigators arrested Ernesto Rodriguez at a residence between Alice and San Diego.

"Our children who endure this type of criminal element are afraid and many times these cases don't get reported," Bueno stated. ""They are silent victims because they are too afraid to speak out. Educators need to monitor our children because sometimes parents don't always protect our children the way they should."

One of the victims was talking to another student at school discussing a bruise to his knee. In the process of the conversation the victim told the other student he had other bruises from when his stepfather would beat him with the belt, according to investigators.

The victim's teacher sent the child to the school counselor about the incident. The district immediately called Child Protective Services. CPS with the assistance of JWC investigators had enough evidence to make an arrest.

The victims had significant markings on their bodies and were sent to a children's hospital.

The investigation is ongoing.

"If you have any concerns about the welfare of children please contact us," Bueno said. "You are protected. If you don't report this type of criminal activity you are just as fault as the perpetrator."

Rodriguez was transported to the JWC jail. He was charged with two counts of injury to a child and has a $150,000 bond.