Oscar Gonzalez Jr.: Valley Teacher in Hot Water After Marriage to Lolita Turns Sour
The Grand Plaza, in all its grandness
Just in time for the run-up to Valentine's Day comes this tale of
romance vengeance from the Rio Grande Valley...
In April of 2009, love bloomed in a science classroom at Economedes High School in Edinburg. The girl, named "Ms. G" in the police reports that would come two years later after the romance had run its course, was 17 and a senior in high school. The man was Oscar Gonzalez Jr., her teacher, who happened to be over two decades Ms. G's senior.
Although Ms. G was past the age of consent, Gonzalez evidently knew that the state of Texas frowned on teacher-student romances. In fact, they are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison. Perhaps that was why he was so cautious in wooing her, but he allegedly gave his jealous streak free reign: a police complaint alleges that he warned Ms. G's age-appropriate suitors away.
Meanwhile, their relationship was getting more serious. "He would ask her for a hug and a kiss from her. At one time, he kissed her on her lips while touching her lower back and breast," states the complaint.
Battle of the Piney Woods: SFA vs. SHSU
TicketsSat., Oct. 1, 3:00pm
University of Houston Cougars Football vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane Football
TicketsSat., Oct. 15, 11:00am
Rice University Owls Football vs. UTSA Roadrunners Football
TicketsSat., Oct. 15, 6:00pm
Rice University Owls Football vs. Prairie View A&M University Football
TicketsSat., Oct. 22, 2:30pm
And soon enough, the couple became lovers and were enjoying $49 rendezvous at McAllen's singulary misnamed Grand Plaza Hotel, just across the highway from the McAllen airport.
(Before you go calling Gonzalez a cheapskate Romeo, know this: his salary was reported to be $17K a year at the time.)
Shortly after her graduation in May of 2009, wedding bells tolled for Gonzalez and Ms. G. (Please note that those bells neither rang merrily nor pealed happily, for these were bells of Hell.)
Not a new story
Had Gonzalez been a teacher of literature instead of science, he might have been better prepared for what came next. After all, ever since Chaucer's time, tales have been told of the folly of old men marrying (or otherwise taking up with) too-young women, and that story-telling trope continued through the ages through Lolita and roughly 15 percent of the movies on Lifetime...
So it seems kind of inevitable that soon enough, Edinburg police were fielding domestic dispute calls at the Gonzalez house. Although Ms. G would later claim that Gonzalez had assaulted her and been otherwise abusive, he was never arrested after any of the police calls.
But by January of this year, the couple would be divorced, and Ms G would find a new way to put her ex-husband behind bars. In January, she told school district police about their alleged trysts at the Grand Plaza, and how some of them took place while she was supposed to be in school. Police pulled records that showed that Gonzalez had indeed used his debit card to rent rooms there before the couple were married, and before Ms G had graduated from school.
And now Gonzalez stands charged with the felony of having an improper relationship between an educator and student. He has been suspended without pay from his job in the Edinburg school district, so that $17K a year will have to come from somewhere else.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.