3rd grade teacher accused of sex assault

June 17, 2008 2:06:07 PM PDT
A former "Teacher of the Year" has been placed on leave after being arrested on a charge alleging he sexually assaulted a student in his third-grade class, police said.Salvador Mata remained in the Kaufman County jail Tuesday on a charge of sexual assault of a child, Terrell police Capt. Arley Sansom said. It was not immediately clear if Mata had an attorney.

Mata was named teacher of the year among Terrell elementary schools in 2004, school district spokesman Pam Stevens said. Mata has been with the district since 2000 and had no previous complaints filed against him, she said.

Mata, who was arrested Sunday, has been placed on indefinite administrative leave, Terrell school district superintendent Kelly Rodgers said. Mata taught third and fourth grade at J.W. Long Elementary.

"Really, we're just as stunned as everyone else is," Rodgers told the Terrell Tribune.

Rodgers said the school district would conduct an internal investigation.

Terrell is about 30 miles east of Dallas.

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