A former Shoemaker High School teacher pled guilty Tuesday to having an improper relationship with an underage student last year. The offense is a second-degree felony with a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, according to the Texas Penal Code.
Jose Rivera is set to be sentenced on June 5, according to the Bell County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant District Attorney Shelly Strimple prosecuted the case.
Rivera was indicted by a Bell County grand jury in October after his August arrest by the Killeen Police Department. Police investigators started looking into Rivera’s behavior in May after allegations about the relationship surfaced, according to the arrest affidavit. He admitted to being alone with the student in a room on campus.
Officers used cellphone data from both Rivera and the student to confirm the relationship, police said.
The Killeen Independent School District Board of Trustees voted to end Rivera’s employment at the district after his arrest. “Once the district was made aware of the allegations regarding Mr. Rivera, he was immediately put on administrative leave,” said Ramona Bellard, KISD spokeswoman, in an August news release.