ETX school counselor arrested for improper student relationship, sexual assault of child

ARP - UPDATE: According to a press release from the City of Arp Police Department, after an Arp Police investigation with the Smith County Sheriff's Office and the Child Advocacy Center of Smith County, the allegations were found to have probable cause to be true.

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A 31-year-old Arp woman was arrested Wednesday and charged with two counts of improper relationship between a child and an educator and two counts of sexual assault of a child. 

Arp Independent School District officials received the allegations against Barbara Lynn Orpineda Oct. 11, according to Arp ISD Superintendent Dwight Thomas.

"She was placed on leave as soon as we got the allegations and has been on leave since Oct. 11," Thomas said. "We conducted our own investigation, turned it over to CPS and the state board of education."

Thomas said Orpineda was employed by the Arp ISD as an elementary school counselor.

Orpineda was arrested by the Arp Police Department and booked into the Smith County jail shortly after 7 p.m.

She was held on bonds totaling $200,000, but posted those bonds Wednesday, according to jail records.

Arp ISD Superintendent Dwight G. Thomas issued the following statement:

At approximately 4:15 on October 11, 2017, AHS principal, Shannon Arrington, contacted me about allegations two parents and a student reported to him after school about an improper interaction between the student and an employee.  I instructed Mr. Arrington to get a statement from these three as well from any others who may have been witnesses to the allegations.
After our phone conversation, I immediately contacted AISD lawyer John Hardy to lay down the groundwork of how and what to report to the authorities.  I then contacted the AISD Board president to inform him of the allegations and how the district would proceed in handling the investigation.  Approximately 4:45 PM, I sent a text to the employee in question that Mr. Arrington and I needed to meet with her at 8 AM the next morning.

On the morning of October 12th, Mr. Arrington provided me with hand written statements from the parents, students who made the allegations, and from two student witnesses who had heard about the allegations.  This information was collected and I made a report to Child Protective Services.  After this, I prepared a report to the State Board of Educator Certifications in care of the Investigations department.  On this afternoon I visited with the Arp Police Department, they sent out officers the next day to begin their investigations.

Currently the employee is on administrative leave pending the findings of the court system.  This matter is under investigation and I cannot comment further at this time.

This story will be updated when more information becomes available. 

© 2017 KYTX-TV


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