Just three months after starting a new job at a local high school, arrest papers allege a 31-year-old science teacher started a relationship with one of his students.
Roger French Jr. (Credit: CSPD)
Now that teacher, Roger French Jr., will face a judge as he makes his first appearance in a courtroom Thursday.
According to an arrest affidavit obtained by 11 News, French first met the victim in one of the classes he taught at Mesa Ridge High School, then took the relationship a step further by stopping by her job in November.
That's where the two allegedly kissed for the first time.
The arrest affidavit says things escalated into a sexual relationship after French asked the victim to babysit his roommate's kids a month later.
At some point, word got out about the alleged relationship. On Jan. 8, a school resource officer with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office informed Colorado Springs police about the alleged incident. The sexual encounters reportedly took place in Colorado Springs.
French resigned from his position Jan. 9, reportedly saying he "wasn't good for this position."
A few hours later, French was arrested on charges of sex assault on a child by one in a position of trust.
When asked about the alleged abuse, the arrest affidavit says French called it a "judgment error."
"It wasn't good, I got too close to her. I made judgment errors...I kept pumping the brakes, I couldn't stop, it's like I am going off a cliff."
According to court documents, French and his wife are in the middle of a divorce.
11 News talked with a former student over the phone after French's arrest. She said she saw behavior that she thought was inappropriate with the way French interacted with students. She reached out to us when she heard he was arrested.
“I think it's wrong and disgusting. I think that he should lose his license as a teacher," the student said.
The Mesa Ridge principal sent out a letter to parents informing them of the allegations. Police do not believe there are any other victims.
The district issued a statement after French's arrest. Full text is below:
Mesa Ridge High School teacher, Roger French, tendered his resignation effective January 9, 2014 following an investigation by the Colorado Springs Police Department. Mr. French has been charged with Sexual Assault on a Child By One in a Position of Trust.
Respecting due process for all parties involved, we continue to follow district policy and procedure. Widefield School District 3 is cooperating with law enforcement during this on-going investigation.
French has bonded out of jail.