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Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - 8:39pm

Centennial HS teacher arrested for illegal contact with student

Centennial HS teacher arrested for illegal contact with student
Courtesy Dona Ana County Detention Center
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 4:10pm

A Centennial High School theater arts teacher was arrested and charged with having inappropriate sexual contact with a student on Tuesday.

Phillip Hernandez, 25, has been charged with three counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor. On April 16, 2014, a 17-year-old Centennial High School student revealed to school administrators and a school resource officer that Hernandez had allegedly touched him inappropriately on multiple occasions.

The student revealed that Hernandez began touching and fondling him in October 2013 and the inappropriate contact continued until the fall semester ended in December. Detectives then learned that Hernandez touched the boy at least one more time when classes resumed in January.

Sometime after the January incident, Hernandez allegedly became upset with the 17-year-old and began to ridicule and talk negatively about him in front of other students. The student alleges that the sexual contact occurred both on and off campus.

Las Cruces Police say that Hernandez has since resigned from his position within the Las Cruces Public School District.

Hernandez was arrested Tuesday, April 29 at his home in the 700 block of Homestead Circle and was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center with a cash-only bond set at $15,000.

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