Former Emery High Teacher in Custody for Sexual Assault Case

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After a warrant was issued for his arrest last week, former Emery High School teacher Andre Louis Pastrana was booked into the Carbon County Jail on Thursday morning. According to Carbon County Sheriff Jeff Wood, Pastrana came to the jail on his own accord, turning himself in around 8:30 a.m.

Stemming from a case involving a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student, Pastrana, age 44, was booked for 13 felony charges, including seven counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, second-degree felonies, four counts of unlawful sexual conduct with someone 16 or 17, third-degree felonies, and one count each of tampering with a witness and endangerment of a child, both third-degree felonies.

Pastrana taught language arts at Emery High School. The teacher and his former student allegedly had the relationship during the time schools were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the sexual acts, Pastrana and the teen reportedly used marijuana during that time. He also allegedly had nude and sexual photos of the girl.

According to a probable cause statement, Pastrana and the teen victim communicated daily through phone calls, texts and emails. He allegedly praised her and “began grooming the 16-year-old victim through the use of text messages and emails.” Court documents state that Pastrana told the girl how he missed seeing her at school and how attractive and talented she was. He ultimately said, according to the documents, that he could “see a life with her in the future.”

Police state that in mid-April, the teacher requested photos of the girl, both in her underwear and nude, in specific positions. There were seven photos, 26 phone calls and 6,417 text messages between Pastrana and the victim.

According to court documents, the two met at his home where the victim told investigators they had kissed and where he touched her sexually. She was able to describe the inside of his home. Documents state that the two also smoked marijuana provided by Pastrana. Afterward, they reportedly engaged in more illicit acts and had sexual intercourse.

Then, in June, a phone call between Pastrana and the teen was recorded and provided to law enforcement. Pastrana allegedly told her that he believed he was in “serious trouble” and that there was a criminal investigation involving him. He reportedly asked the victim not to tell anyone about their relationship, stating that “his life depends on her and to please be on his side.”

According to the documents, he told her to say that she had his email for future references. Pastrana then allegedly told her that they should have no further contact.

Pastrana has worked for the Emery School District for one school year. He was hired to teach at Emery High in the summer of 2019. Before teaching for the Emery School District, he taught overseas and at a Carbon County elementary school.

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