HOUSTON — An attorney for a Houston high school principal charged with failing to report allegations from students of sexual abuse says the administrator promptly reported the incidents and that his "good name" is being smeared.
Rob Gasparello, who works at Sharpstown High School, was charged last week with three counts of failure to report child abuse.
Rusty Hardin, Gasparello’s attorney, said in a statement Tuesday the accusations against his client paint him "in a false light" and that the principal investigated the incidents and "took swift action."
In one instance, he immediately informed the mother of a young woman who said she was assaulted off-campus by a family member and made sure the mother and victim reported this to police," Hardin said in a statement. "It was reported to HPD within four hours of Mr. Gasparello learning of the incident. He also got the student to counseling to support her. "
The other two charges stem from a teacher at the school accused of touching students inappropriately. Ysidoro Rosales-Motola has been charged with indecency with a child and having an improper relationship with a student.
"In the other matter, Mr. Gasparello immediately took steps to make sure the teacher in question was not alone with students, had another adult in the room and swiftly began to investigate the allegations," Hardin said.
Gasparello also told the students’ parents and reported the cases to his superiors within roughly 72 hours with the belief they would notify law enforcement, according to Hardin.
Houston Federation of Teachers Union President Gayle Fallon said last week that police are on a witch hunt.
"Generally, we don’t find principals that support our teachers. We are kind of grateful this guy looked at it objectively and said there’s no merit," said Fallon. "It is very frustrating because if it’s a frivolous charge, why would you report it?"
Two Sharpstown assistant principals each face one count of failure to report child abuse for the same case.