Fresno Unified teacher arrested for having sexual relations with 8th-grade student

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno middle school teacher walks out of the Fresno County jail hours after being arrested for sex crimes against a student. Fresno Police said the acts took place last school year and continued into the summer.

Justine Nelson walked stoically out of the jail Thursday. While she had nothing to say the driver of the car she was getting into came to her defense.

"Maybe get your story right. Get your story right!"

"Well, what happened," asked our reporter.

"Get your story right," the driver replied.

Police said the only story there is an abuse of trust. Detectives said the 30-year-old teacher performed sex acts on a 14-year-old boy in her classroom this spring at Tenaya Middle School. She also sent nude photos of herself to him over the summer.

"The whole thing is sad. Just what she did, totally sad. That victim will be impacted for a long time, it's just ridiculous," said Lt. Joe Gomez, Fresno Police Department.

At Tenaya, the arrest brought discomfort to many parents. Some wondering what more can be done to protect their kids.

"I hope it's an eye-opener for any teacher who gets swayed one way or another to just stop," said Rachel Chavarria, grandmother.

The victim was an eighth grader at the time and has now moved on to high school. Recently, he posted the nude photos on social media where several students saw the pictures. That is when a vice principal in the school district contacted police.

"I'm in shock-- they should know better, I mean these kids are innocent. They didn't know any better. I mean, they're growing, they are still growing. I feel teachers should find somewhere else to do that. They are dealing with kids. Kids who don't know much," said Parent.

Families said they hope this arrest serves as a wake-up call, not only to teachers but to parents to monitor relationships their kids build at school.

"You put your trust in them. You have to be so careful. As long as parents keep open communication with their kids, that is the most important thing," said Chavarria.

When detectives interviewed Nelson, she admitted to the inappropriate relationship. She has been charged with multiple sex crimes.
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