HOUSTON – A Memorial Middle School teacher accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old student was released from jail on Friday after posting a reduced bond.
Kathryn Camille Murray, 28, was arrested and charged with sexual assault of a child on Thursday.
Her bond was initially set at $250,000, but an emergency hearing was held Friday morning, where a judge reduced the bond to $50,000.
Prosecutors said the bond was initially set so high, because Murray told another teacher that she’d emptied her bank account and bought a plane ticket to Mexico, where her brother lives.
Only KHOU 11 News’ camera was there when Murray, who must now wear an ankle bracelet, walked out of the Harris County jail. Looking lost, she stopped to ask cops a question.
“I was trying to call my family to pick me up,” she said before getting into an unidentified man’s car.
Thursday night, Murray appeared in court for her probable cause hearing, where the judge forbade her from contacting the victim or coming within 200 feet of his house.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Murray, an eighth-grade language arts teacher, assaulted the boy at his home on February 11, 2012, while his parents were away.
The victim’s 12-year-old brother told investigators that after his parents left that night, his brother asked if it was OK for Ms. Murray to come over.
The 12-year-old said around 11:50 p.m., he pushed open the door to his brother’s room and saw a tan bra and a used condom on the floor.
The boy said he saw his brother in bed under the covers, and noticed the outline of a second person in there with him.
He said his brother told the other person to say hi to him, and when she responded with “Hola,” he recognized the voice as that of Ms. Murray from Memorial Middle School.
Around 12:30 a.m., the 12-year-old said Murray left his house, saying “Adios” to him on the way out.
On February 20, the victim told his mother that he’d had sex with the teacher at their house. Later that day, the victim was interviewed by police.
Investigators said the victim told them that he was in love with Ms. Murray. He said the night she came over, he got her a can of beer, but she didn’t drink it. He said after the assault, she told him that what they’d done was bad.
Police also interviewed another teacher at Memorial Middle School, who said she’d seen the victim in Murray’s classroom after school as late as 5:30 p.m. She also said the victim told her on February 9 that he was in love with Ms. Murray, and that they had kissed in her classroom.
Once school officials were notified about the allegations, they fired Murray.
She was arrested late in the afternoon of February 23.
In probable cause court that night, the judge strictly forbade Murray, who is married but recently separated from her husband, from any contact with the victim.
“Do not stalk that person. Do not commit any act inferred as a stalking. Do not communicate directly with that person in a threatening manner or harassing manner, from inside the jail or outside the jail.
Meanwhile, students and parents at Memorial Middle were still trying to deal with Murray’s arrest and the shocking allegations against her.
“I’m just glad that it was reported and that they handled it so quickly and swiftly,” said Marnie Vandeburg, a parent. “I feel sorry for the child that it happened to and the family.”
“First of all, it was my daughter’s teacher,” said Vicky Rocher, another parent. “And I wasn’t happy with the performance and we’ve had complaints about her teaching quality, and we just expect higher here at Memorial Middle.”