School Teacher Arrested After Attempting to Marry Student

Ranulfo "Randy" Arias, 27 was arrested after attempting to marry one of his students.
Ranulfo "Randy" Arias, 27 was arrested after attempting to marry one of his students.

A Texas high school teacher is facing jail time after attempting to marry one of his students.

Ranulfo "Randy" Arias, 27, taught Spanish and was the cross-country coach at South Austin's Akins High School since 2006.

According to an arrest warrant, the student said Arias asked her out on a date in early March. Over the next four weeks the two had several sexual encounters.

On Thursday Arias and the teen, who was accompanied by her mother, applied for a marriage license.

The police report said Arias brought the girl back to his apartment, off Stassney Lane, after they went to the movies last month.

The girl said she and the 27-year-old had sex.

Police said they believe the pair went on to meet every Saturday during March and had sex every time they got together.

"Our teachers and all the employees are held to a standard, keep that trust that the parents give upon us," said police Lt. Eric Mendez for the Austin Independent School District.

Whether the parent consented to the marriage, a sexual relationship between a student and teacher is against the law.

Texas law states the age of consent is 17, but as a teacher, Arias is considered a public servant.

Arias turned himself into the Travis County Jail Monday night.

He has since been released, and the school has placed him on administrative leave.

Arias could face up to 20 years in prison.

A letter sent home on Friday informed students and parents the school believed Arias had an improper relationship with a student.

Principal Daniel Girard wrote he had no reason to believe Arias was involved with more than one student on the campus.

Reactions from Akins students and their parents to the teacher-student relationship have been mixed.

"Honestly, I don't think he did it, because I don't think he would do something like that. Honestly, I really don't," said student Brianna Cunningham.

"It just makes you worry about, you know, I send my kid off, and I can't protect them even from their teachers," said parent Angie Blackwell. "You know, you should be able to send your kids to school and feel like, 'Hey they're at a safe place.'"

Students said Arias was a friendly teacher.

"He was a real mellow guy. I'd see him around like the hallways and everything, shake his hand; he'd be really friendly," said student Joseph Johnston. "I just would have never pictured him being something, going beyond his level."