Trial reset for ex-Santa Rosa teacher charged with sex with student

BROWNSVILLE — A judge reset yesterday’s trial for a former Santa Rosa teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student.

Associate Judge Louis Sorola reset the jury trial of Josue Cepeda, 35, for Oct. 14 in 103rd state District Court.

The decision came amid state prosecutors’ request the case be continued, calling on Sorola to consider revoking Cepeda’s $525,000 bail during a Thursday hearing.

In May, Sorola charged Cepeda with one count of improper relationship between an educator and student and six counts of sexual assault of a child.

During that hearing, Sorola ordered Cepeda be held on $525,000 bond, setting bail at $75,000 per count.

Authorities have based much of their case on affidavits from a former 16-year-student who testified she and Cepeda, who taught her criminal justice and principals of law, had sex about five times from January to about March at the Texas Inn in La Feria.

In a related case, 445th state District Judge Gloria Rincones has set an Aug. 19 trial for Isaac Ruben Flores, 24, another former Santa Rosa coach accused of having a sexual relationship with another 16-year-old student.

In an affidavit, the girl testified she and Flores had sex twice at his home in November or December 2018 to early 2019.

The girl also testified Flores smoked marijuana with her and three other girls, including the girl who accused Cepeda of having a sexual relationship with her.

In May, Flores was charged with one count of improper relationship between an educator and student, two counts of sexual assault of a child and four counts of delivery of a controlled substance, or marijuana.

Flores is also being held on $525,000 bail.

All charges are second-degree felonies carrying as much as two to 22 years in state prison.


In February, the District Attorney’s Office launched an investigation after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigation’s Child Exploitation Task Force received telephone tips regarding allegations Cepeda and Flores were having improper relationships with students, Victoria Cisneros, spokeswoman for the District Attorneys Office, stated in May.

In May, Cisneros said local, state and federal authorities were trying to identify individuals involved in those alleged incidents while investigating whether they were covered up.

According to the District Attorney’s Office, school district officials failed to respond to reports that Cepeda and Flores were allegedly having relationships with students in May 2018.