HARRIS COUNTY -- A drama teacher at the Houston Family Arts Center who married one of his teenage students was arrested Thursday, and authorities suspect there may be other victims.
Spring Valley Village Police Department investigators, with the assistance of Harris County Sheriff s Office deputies, arrested 41-year-old Ilich Auyapah Guardiola as the result of a month-long investigation that began with a routine traffic stop.
Guardiola was stopped for a traffic violation on April 14. At that time, a 16-year-old girl was with him. Police learned that Guardiola was a drama teacher working at several Houston-area acting academies and theaters, and the girl who was with him was one of his students.
Guardiola was taken into custody for the traffic offense and police called the girl s mother. The mother said that Guardiola was only supposed to be giving the girl a ride home and did not know why they were that far away from their destination.
When questioned by police about their involvement, the girl confessed that the two were in love and said they had been having a consensual sexual relationship, according to documents.
Investigators searched cell phone records and found messages between Guardiola and the teen, including one where the teen stated I love having sex with you.
After further investigation, Guardiola was charged with sexual assault of a child and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
There was, however, one development. Investigators learned that Guardiola and the teen traveled to Las Vegas two weeks ago and were married with the girl s mother present.
Authorities arrested Guardiola at an apartment in northwest Harris County Thursday and his teen wife was with him at the time of his arrest. His bail was set at $50,000.
Investigators are concerned that there could be other victims and urge anyone with information to contact the Spring Valley Village Police Department at 713-465-8323 or their local law enforcement agency.
A representative from the Houston Family Arts Center issued the following statement:
We were informed by local law enforcement that one of our independent contract teachers was under investigation for possible criminal activity. When we learned of the investigation we took what we believed was the best possible action, which was to sever all our ties with this contractor. Our priority will always be with our students and the organization.