DA probes Santa Rosa school district

SANTA ROSA — An investigation continues into the Santa Rosa school district following the indictments of two teachers accused of having sexual relationships with students.

The District Attorney’s Office found school district officials failed to take action following reports in 2018 alleging two teachers were having relationships with students, Victoria Cisneros, spokeswoman for the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office, stated in a press release yesterday.

“Back in May of 2018, allegations of inappropriate relationships with students were first reported to school district officials,” Cisneros stated. “No action was taken by school district officials at the time and law enforcement was not notified.”

However, Cisneros declined to disclose whether the investigation focuses on the district’s failure to respond to reports that teachers Josue Arnoldo Cepeda, 35, and Isaac Ruben Flores, 24, where allegedly having relationships with students.

“It is a good question,” Cisneros said after being asked if the investigation center’s on the district’s failure to take action following the reports.

“We can’t answer that question right now. We’re still investigating.”

Cisneros said she could not disclose the investigation’s details.

“There is an investigation but it’s not specifically into allegations of students,” she said. “The investigation is ongoing.”

Last February, the Department of Homeland Security Investigation’s Child Exploitation Task Force received telephone tips regarding the same allegations of improper relationships, Cisneros stated.

“This prompted the beginning of a joint and lengthy investigation between the agencies that has resulted in several charges against the men,” she stated.

Superintendent Angela Gonzalez did not respond to messages requesting comment.

On May 22, a Cameron County grand jury indicted Cepeda and Flores and Magistrate Judge Louis Sorola ordered each man held on $525,000 bail, setting bail at $75,000 per count.

Sorola charged Cepeda with one count of improper relationship and six counts of sexual assault, all second-degree felonies.

Meanwhile, Flores was charged with one count of improper relationship, two counts of sexual assault and four counts of delivery of a controlled substance or marijuana.

All charges are second-degree felonies carrying as much as two to 22 years in state prison.

Cepeda and Flores remain in custody.

Dina Vela, a payroll clerk, referred questions regarding the teachers’ employment status to Gonzalez and attorney Nicholas Maddox.

Maddox was not available for comment late yesterday afternoon.