El Paso News

Las Cruces teacher suspected of inappropriate relationship with student

LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) - A Las Cruces High School teacher is suspected of inappropriately touching a student several times.

Patrick Howard, 54, is charged with four counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor by a person in authority. 

According to investigators, the alleged 16-year-old victim's father reported the alleged incidents to the Las Cruces High School principal on Jan. 19. Initially, the father told authorities that Howard smacked the teen's buttocks.

During an interview with the alleged victim and several other students at LCHS, investigators learned that the inappropriate contact allegedly happened on multiple occasions including while traveling to out-of-town school sponsored trips to Santa Fe and Deming.

Howard was taken into custody and booked into the Doña Ana County Detention Center where he's currently being held without bond. 

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