Former coach arrested for improper relationship

A former Slaton High School teacher was arrested Tuesday for an improper relationship with a student.

Dustin Ray Leonard, 28, of Lubbock, was taken into custody for the felony charge by Texas Rangers following an investigation by the Slaton Police Department and the Rangers.

Dustin Leonard

Slaton ISD Police Chief James Williams said that Leonard was investigated by his department in April regarding rumors that he was being unprofessional with both male and female students. He said that no evidence of any sexual behavior was uncovered.

“There was no corroboration for any inappropriate contact,” Williams said.

Slaton ISD Superintendent Julee Becker said that despite the previous investigation, the arrest for the second-degree felony came as a surprise.

“There were rumors going around, and any time we hear about anything that is contrary to the safety of our students, we investigate,” she said. “We do everything, every time, to take care of our students.”

Becker said the district has fully cooperated with the investigation.

After being questioned on April 12 about the rumors, Leonard submitted his resignation a day later, citing family and personal concerns. He was employed by Slaton ISD for two years.

Slaton Police Chief Trevor Barnes said he was made aware of the allegation on Monday by a confidential informant. He then contacted the Texas Rangers to assist in the investigation, and he and the reporting party met with a Ranger. A Texas Ranger then interviewed school officials before arresting Leonard, who was in the Lubbock County jail awaiting arraignment. No bond amount had been posted at press time.

Improper relationship between educator and student is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The name and age of the student were withheld to protect the identity of the student.

2 Comments

  1. Cynthia Michele Lara on August 9, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    Interesting. Investigation was launched by Slaton ISD police and he was questioned. He resigned the next day. But nothing with found by the Slaton ISD police chief. I didn’t even know there was a title like that. The police chief was made aware on May 22 almost a month later who contacted the Texas Rangers for assistance. Then he was arrested on May 23. The superintendent was surprised of the charge. I suppose his resignation did not alert her and since she was his boss I do not see why there was not an internal investigation and she failed to report this incident as regulated by TEA. Sounds like a cover up.

  2. Cynthia Michele Lara on August 9, 2018 at 11:24 pm

    To the Editor. Thank you for attention and review of this comment. With all due respect, It will be interesting to see if my comment will actually be published. As this can be edited for content and is currently awaiting moderation. It is not usual for someone to actually cite against the news publications in a form of opinion and observation. I will follow up closely as I hope that I am proved wrong and we have an open dialogue to state our opinions, perspectives, observations, as members of the community and concerned parents. To be able to still exercise our fundamental rights, without fear of attempted intimidation by anyone, department, or company that has a negative false sense of authority that can and is currently utilized as a form of control and-or oppression to those that speak against and question the validity of the story being reported or actions taken by those involved in an incident as the one that is currently under discussion. It is quite obvious that these individuals, departments, etc. play by their own rules and only loosely adhering to the rules and regulations set in place by the regulating agencies and stakeholders at an international, national, state, local level to protect our children from individuals that seek to serve their own self interest and not in the best interest of the students. I observe a blatant attempt to draw attention away from any personal and professional accountability in serious matters that take place within our public schools and that effect our students, parents, and community negatively as a whole. There is no trust and no official rectification of new policies that are being set in order to prevent another situation of this magnitude from happening again. We are all subject to consequences no matter what your current title is. I appreciate your consideration in publishing my comment. Respectfully, Cynthia Michele Lara

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