Talon News - Good Local News

By Jacque Ritchie



August 24, 2018

Former Aztec High School teacher James Dee Coulter 31, has been arrested in connection with multiple unlawful sexual encounters with female student. New Mexico State Police began investigation Coulter in June after the New Mexico Public Education Department conducted an investigation for licensure, that led to the discovery of the alleged illegal activity. NMSP reportd that a former student told officers that she had sex with Coulter when she was 17 on at least two separate occasions in 2015. Coulter allegedly urged the student, "not to speak about the relationship because it could potentially ruin his life."

Coulter worked at AHS from 2013 until resigning in May 2018. While at AHS Coulter taught philosophy and math. Coulter's New Mexico teaching license was revoked on August 9 of this year.

Coulter was arrested on August 17, at his job at a Farmington industrial equipment supply outlet. After being taken into custody NMSP reports that the suspect admitted to multiple unlawful sexual encounters with underage AHS students. NMSP is currently investigating additional crimes and trying to identify possible victims. Coulter has been charged with four counts of fourth degree criminal sexual penetration. As defined by New Mexico Criminal Code section 30-9-11 fourth degree criminal sexual penetration is a "statutory charge" punishable by up to 18 months in prison per count. If convicted Coulter would also be required to register as a sex offender. As of Thursday Coulter is being held without bond at the San Juan County Detention Center.

On Thursday August 23, Aztec Municipal School Superintendent Kirk Carpenter released a statement exclusive to TALON: Aztec Municipal School District has always, and will continue to ensure that those that work with our students are not only qualified, but that they also met the requirements, and cleared all the background and character references necessary to work within our district. It is always a tragic day when a person, on their own volition, uses their authority to jeopardize, break trust and take advantage of an innocent victim such as a student. At no time is there ever a place for these kind of actions by those that deal with our most precious assets, our kids, and we will not and never have tolerated this type of behavior.


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