Las Cruces teacher arrested for criminal sexual contact of minor

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LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) — A Las Cruces teacher has been arrested on suspicion of inappropriately touching a female student.

Police charged 54-year-old Las Cruces High School teacher Patrick Howard with four counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor by a person of authority.

An investigation revealed that on Jan. 19, 2018, the father of the 16-year-old girl told the school’s principal that for an unknown reason, the teacher smacked his daughter’s buttocks.

Investigators from the Las Cruces Police Department interviewed the alleged victim in addition to several other students who confirmed the allegations and stated that the inappropriate contact happened multiple times and on several occasions while on out-of-town school trips to Deming and Santa Fe.

Howard was arrested at his home on Tuesday and is being held without bond at the Dona Ana County Detention Center.

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