A Houston teacher pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault in order to avoid a life sentence on Wednesday.
Alexandria Vera was originally charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child after getting arrested in June for having sex with a 13-year-old student. She later became pregnant from the student, who is unidentified.
She pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child.
Vera taught at Stovall Middle School when she entered a nine month long sexual relationship with an 8th grader, said Harris County prosecutors.
Court documents revealed that Vera alleged that she and the student were in love. She said the two met in summer school, and they began a sexual relationship the next year.
Vera also claimed that during a fall open house, she was introduced to the victim’s parents as “his girlfriend.” Investigators said that she believed the boy’s family accepted the relationship, and even invited her to family gatherings.
When Vera became pregnant, she said the boy’s family was excited for them, according to court records.
However, she later aborted the pregnancy when Child Protective Services showed up at the school to question Vera and the victim.
Vera’s neighbors say they saw the boy come over for sleepovers all the time.
“She was having a lot of kids in her home,” one neighbor told KHOU. “There was drinking in the front. We always found beer bottles and beer cans on her side of the lawn and half of the [teens] did not look older than high school, maybe.”
Prosecutors agreed to a maximum term of 30 years, but she will not be sentenced until January. Defense attorneys will ask for probation. Vera could have faced life in prison under the original charge.
The victim is in foster care, where he will remain until at least August 2017. His parents, who have three other children, have been ordered to undergo therapy and attend parenting classes. They were not charged in the case.
(Photo: Antonio Diaz/Getty Images)