A Greenwood teacher was arrested Friday on suspicion of harassment, after resigning from the school district earlier this week.
An arrest warrant states Greenwood Junior High teacher Gilberto Huerta, 52, bit a female student’s ear during class late last year and told her, “I’m going to eat you.” When the teacher walked back to his desk, he allegedly said, “Next time, I’m going to put salsa on it.”
Huerta turned himself in to authorities Friday after a warrant was issued for his arrest by Judge Michael Wagoner in Greenwood District Court.
Huerta, a Spanish teacher, resigned Wednesday amid a police investigation, although Greenwood School District administrators said at the time they could not comment on the resignation or investigation.
The alleged victim told police the incident happened between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year. The girl said two other students sitting at her table witnessed the situation, according to the warrant.
Huerta released a statement through his attorney Friday, in which he “categorically (denies) that I have harassed any student or students—nor have I acted inappropriately in any manner whatsoever, including the allegation that I bit a student.”
The teacher said in the statement he resigned from the school district amid pressure, as “I was worried about my family and the embarrassment these allegations would cause. I was led to believe that my resignation would mean the end of this situation. Apparently it is only the beginning.”
Addressing the allegation against him, Huerta said in the statement, “I teach Spanish, and as a teacher, we are instructed to use demonstrative examples to help clarify the differences in language. That is what I did. Again, in no way did I act inappropriately.”
The girl said another incident a few weeks ago made her feel uncomfortable. Huerta was teaching the word “under” to the class and crawled under her table, also occupied by two other female students. When the teacher emerged, he allegedly said, “Don’t worry, I kept my eyes closed the entire time.”
Huerta was a junior high Spanish teacher for the school for the past four years, according to school officials.
Stay with 5NEWS for more on this developing story.