Mark West, a high school assistant principal in Harris County, Texas, was arrested Monday and charged with having an improper relationship with a student after he allegedly had sexual relations with a teen during a prom event last year, reports the Houston Chronicle.
The incident occurred last May during the 2011-2012 school year. High school administrators placed West on their radar after rumors began to surface of his alleged relationships with female students at Spring High School in Spring, Texas. School employees claimed they saw young girls leaving West’s office, oftentimes giggling and looking disheveled from head to toe.
Many of West’s co-workers kept noticing that he would have too many closed-door meetings with these teenaged girls and the amount of time his door remained closed began to raise administrative eyebrows. Last year, police began to delve into an alleged complaint that West had touched a female student inappropriately, but the investigation fizzled out due to a lack of conclusive evidence; West was subsequently warned by his superiors about the alleged improprieties.
Last December, he was warned again about his frequent closed-door meetings with teen girls. Just one month later, the 30-year-old was again warned by the high school’s principal, Donna Ullrich.
Investigators were soon able to pinpoint a former student, who told police she had engaged in sexual relations with West during a prom event last May at the high school. When news of the allegations about West surfaced, Ullrich sent a notice home to all of the high school’s parents.
“I want to assure you that the safety of our students is of the highest importance at Spring High School,” Ullrich said in a letter sent home to parents. “The administration at Spring High School takes every allegation seriously and will conduct a thorough investigation and expose inappropriate behavior when necessary.”
Meanwhile West, who has been on administrative leave since February, resigned last Friday.
The case is still under police investigation.