The devil is in the details for Central West teacher accused of sexting student

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Central High School West teacher lost his job last month and he could lose his freedom over the words he exchanged with a student.

Fabian Botero went from first-year teacher to fired within a matter of months.

For most of those months, Fresno County sheriff's detectives say the 31-year-old was sending sexually graphic messages through emails and text messages to a student at his school.

"You're to stay away from the individual 100 yards," Judge Adolfo Corona told Botero. "No phone calls, no emails, no social media contact."

The judge issued a restraining order against Botero Wednesday, preventing him from making any contact with the 15-year-old girl, and forcing him to give up his firearms.

He postponed entering a plea to the charge of contacting a minor to commit a felony sex crime.

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"The words have to be very specific to indicate what his intent was when he sent those text messages," said legal analyst Tony Capozzi.

Capozzi says the case really depends on what exactly he told the girl, which detectives haven't revealed in detail.

The charge requires proof that Botero tried to commit a specific crime.

"It could be child pornography: 'Send me a nude picture of you,'" Capozzi said. "That's a crime no question about it. It may be 'Let's have sexual intercourse.' Clearly, that's a crime. It's statutory rape."

But Capozzi says if the messages are at all vague, Botero may use that as a defense.

Sheriff's deputies say Botero admitted to having an inappropriate relationship with the girl, but again, Capozzi says the specifics matter.

"Apparently, the defendant said he had an inappropriate relationship," he said. "What does that mean to him? Did he describe in detail what that inappropriate relationship was? Well, maybe he was thinking, 'I'm a teacher. It's inappropriate for me to be texting a student of mine.'"

The punishment for contacting a minor to commit a felony are the same as they are for actually committing the crime, and if Botero is convicted, he would have to register as a sex offender.

He's due back in court in May.
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