Officials at Spring High School, it seems, had long been suspicious of assistant principal Mark Steve West's closed-door meetings with female students.
One told investigators she saw "female students exit [West's] door with their hair and clothing disheveled, and the female students would be smiling and laughing," court documents say.
No victims came forward, though, until police tracked down one now attending college. And she told them -- with a description straight out of a bodice-ripping romance novel -- of how she and West had sex during a prom-planning event.
Her description also seems designed to inflame the Internet commenters who shout "entrapment!" whenever there's an item about alleged high school teacher-student sex.
West, 30, has denied the charge of inappropriate relationship with a student, court documents show.
Investigators talked to several Spring High officials who seemed to have had their doubts about West for some time.
Besides the smiling, disheveled females leaving his closed-door office, there were allegations about West touching female students or "body-slamming" one onto a couch in a friendly manner. There were also rumors about sexually suggestive remarks to students.
Spring ISD police investigated him last school year for improperly touching a student, but no charges were filed, school principal Donna Ullrich said, because of a lack of evidence and because "the touch was to the student's back above the clothing," court documents say.
As late as January 31, 2013, Ullrich told West the school had received additional complaints about his behavior.
Finally investigators tracked down a former student who they suspected had had sex with West. The woman, now 19, attends college and confirmed the rumors. She said she saw West (referred to as "the defendant" in court documents) at the prom event last May 12 and:
She started to talk and flirt with the defendant. She told the defendant 'she was horny, and wanted to have sex with him.' [She] stated defendant refused at first but she continued to tell him she wanted to have sex and he consented...
She told the defendant to meet her at his office upstairs at Spring High School. [She] and the defendant entered the office and started to kiss. The defendant unbuttoned her pants and [she] unbuttoned defendant's pants...The defendant turned her around and 'bent her over' and placed his erect penis inside her vagina....
[She said] 'After about 15 minutes he came on my back with some getting on my shirt.'
There's a $30,000 bond on the case.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.