FORT WORTH – A North Texas teacher now faces criminal charges after police say she had a months-long affair with one of her students.
Fort Worth police officers arrested Rachelle Heenan, 34, at her Haslet home Thursday afternoon. She’s accused of having an improper relationship with an 18-year-old male student at her school, Hollenstein Career and Technology Center.
Heenan was released from jail Friday morning after posting a $10,000 bond.
Fort Worth police say Heenan began texting the teenager in February. The next month, they met in Heenan’s car in the parking lot of a private gym in Fort Worth, officers say.
“That ultimately led to physical contact -- kissing between the victim and suspect,” said Sgt. Pedro Criado with the Fort Worth Police Department. “Sometime in March, the victim and the suspect met at a local hotel here in Fort Worth and had sex for the first time.”
Criado said the sexual encounters continued for several months at various hotels until rumors started circulating at the school, tipping off administrators to the alleged affair.
“At that point, school officials became concerned,” Criado said.
Heenan had been teaching with the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Independent School District since 2004 at Boswell High School. She started teaching forensic science at the district’s technology center last August.
The district said Heenan was placed on paid administrative leave on May 21, soon after the accusations first surfaced.
“We do not have reason to believe multiple students are involved,” wrote the district’s spokesperson, Kristin Courtney, in a statement to News 8.
Heenan’s page on the school’s website says she has been married for ten years and has two young children.
Soon after arriving at the school, she wrote that she “cannot wait to show the kids all the cool things in forensics… In my spare time, I am usually spending time with my family, hunting or shopping.”
Heenan could not be reached for comment. No one answered the door at her Haslet home on Friday.
Even though the alleged victim in this case is legally an adult, Texas law was strengthened in 2003 to outlaw sexual relationships between teachers and students, even if it’s among consenting adults.
Improper relationship between educators and students is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.