Teacher accused of sexually abusing 2 children

By Carolina Astrain , Jessica Priest

By Carolina Astrain , Jessica Priest
March 20, 2013 at 5:01 p.m.
Updated March 19, 2013 at 10:20 p.m.

A Victoria school district teacher resigned Wednesday after he was accused of sexually abusing two children under age 17.

Jeffry Craig Vuillemin, who taught graphic design and animation at Liberty Academy, was arrested Tuesday by Victoria police officers shortly after lunch at the school in the 1100 block of Sam Houston Drive.

Vuillemin, 34, of Victoria, is charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child and indecency with a child.

The victims were not Vuillemin's students, said VISD spokeswoman Diane Boyett, but school officials are not clear whether they were VISD students because law enforcement has not released that information to them.

"Even if I did know, it would not be appropriate for me to reveal that information because that's invading the privacy of children," Boyett said. "These allegations are not related to his employment or former employment in VISD."

The alleged abuse occurred from October 2012 to February 2013, according to a complaint filed at Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 Robert Whitaker's office.

Vuillemin was in the Victoria County Jail on Wednesday.

His bond is set at $75,000 with the condition that he have no contact with the victims or anyone in their household.

He is also ordered not to go within 200 yards of their residence or place of employment, education or care for the duration of the case.

News of the arrest shocked an 18-year-old Liberty Academy senior who was enrolled in one of Vuillemin's classes this semester.

The student requested to remain anonymous because of the sensitive nature of the case.

"He has his personality and everything, but it doesn't seem like he would do something like that," she said. "It's just crazy."

The student remembered Vuillemin sharing photos of his son during class and said he seemed like a nice guy.

"I hope everything works out," she said. "He was teaching us some really cool stuff."

Vuillemin was hired as a certified technology education teacher with the Victoria Area Center for Advanced Learning on Sept. 7, 2007, and was making $47,807 before he resigned, district officials say.

Sgt. Eline Moya, a Victoria Police Department spokeswoman, could not say how Vuillemin met or knew the victims. She said the case is ongoing.

Sgt. Don Chacon, a school resource officer for the campus, assisted with the arrest and notified the administration, said Victoria County Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor.

O'Connor said his office would help Victoria police investigate if they ask.

He said that while the case may not stem from anything that occurred online, the resources that deputies gather in the department's cyber crime/child assault task force may be useful.

"Unfortunately, no community is exempt from this type of conduct," O'Connor said.

He said the prevalence of social media seems to blur the lines of what is appropriate and suggested that more people may now be reporting abuse.

"It's extremely traumatic to the child and to the family to get the facts, and we're very conscientious of that," O'Connor said.

Teachers can be alerted to abuse by observing their students for unusual behavior, such as poor attendance or discipline. No passing comment, however small, should go unnoticed, he said.

In October, an athletic trainer at Victoria East High School was arrested on two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Jesse Earl Holmes, 31, of Victoria, was arrested on Oct. 11 after the mother of a 15-year-old student reported Holmes possibly had sex with her daughter.

Holmes, who started at East in 2010, worked with a multitude of athletes at different grade levels, district officials said.

He admitted to officers he had sex with the student at her residence on Sept. 27 and in the parking lot of Patti Welder Middle School on Oct. 4. Holmes also sent the student about 415 text messages, according to the complaint also filed in Whitaker's office.

Holmes has a motions hearing set for 9 a.m. April 2 before 377th District Court Judge Robert C. Cheshire.



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