Over roughly a year, a 41-year-old North Las Vegas high school teacher repeatedly bought marijuana for a special needs teenager he met on a dating site and took her on at least one trip out of state without her mother’s consent, according to his arrest report.
Yet the original charges of kidnapping and possession of narcotics for sale against Abraham Gonzalez, a Mojave High School physical education teacher, have been dropped, according to court and jail records.
Instead, he was formally charged last week with one felony count of child abuse. He remained held without bail Wednesday at the Clark County Detention Center awaiting his preliminary hearing on Aug. 15.
A request for comment from Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson regarding the dropped charges was not immediately returned.
Gonzalez joined the Clark County School District as a physical education teacher in 2006 and was the head football coach at Mojave from 2016 to 2018. Should he be released from custody, he will be “assigned to home,” meaning he cannot set foot on school property, according to the district.
According to the arrest report, Gonzalez and the 17-year-old girl, posing as a 21-year-old woman, first met about a year ago on a dating site. The teen, who told school district police that she recently admitted her real age to Gonzalez, did not attend Mojave, records show.
The teen had learning disabilities and was eligible for special education services, according to the report. One of her parents described the teen to police as “mentally slow.”
After meeting the teen, Gonzalez began purchasing marijuana for her, transactions documented in more than 2,450 phone calls, text messages and photographs obtained by detectives from the teen’s phone, according to the report. In her contacts, Gonzalez’s name was saved with a heart emoji, it states.
“I’ll drop by with your weed later ok,” one text message read. In another, according to the report, Gonzalez asked, “Did the weed help the pain?”
The investigation was opened July 19 after a woman reported Gonzalez was “in a sexual relationship” with her daughter. Las Vegas police took the teen’s phone as evidence, prompting Gonzalez to add a new phone line to his plan and purchase the girl a new iPhone, the report says.
At least one witness, whose name and relationship to the teen are redacted in the report, later supported the mother’s claim during an interview with police, according to the report, stating that she had hung out with the two on several occasions and had seen them “making out” and “french kissing.”
Three days after police began investigating, Gonzalez called the Clark County School District Police Department asking “what he could do to clear it up,” the report states.
“He indicated that he was a teacher at Mojave High School and has met a girl on the dating app Plenty of Fish,” an employee in the department’s records division told police.
The basis of the original kidnapping charge was a recent trip the two took to Zion National Park in Utah, the report shows. The teen’s mom had repeatedly told detectives that she did not give Gonzalez permission to take her daughter across state lines “because she’s not in her right mind.”
When interviewed by police, the teen would later say that Gonzalez had told her that one of his family members “is a police officer and they told him it was OK to be friends with her.”
In a message to parents last week, Principal Greg Cole said the teacher, whom he did not name, would not be allowed to work in the classroom until the concerns relating to his arrest were fully investigated.
“As a reminder, take time to talk to your students and remain in constant communication with them regarding their interactions with others,” Cole told parents. “Please report any unusual behavior or activities to authorities or school officials.”