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Las Cruces Teacher Arrested for Allegedly Fondling Teenager


A Centennial High School teacher suspected of having inappropriate sexual contact with a 17-year-old student has been arrested and charged with multiple felonies.

Phillip Hernandez, 25, is charged with three counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor after the student told school administrators that Hernandez, the boy’s theater arts teacher, had touched him inappropriately on multiple occasions.

The student said that Hernandez began touching and fondling him in October 2013 and continued until the fall semester ended in December. Detectives learned that Hernandez illegally touched the boy at least one more time when classes resumed in January.

Detectives learned that sometime after the January incident Hernandez grew upset and began to ridicule the boy and talk negatively of him in front of other students. The incidents of criminal sexual contact are alleged to have occurred both on and off campus.

Hernandez has since resigned from his position with the Las Cruces Public School District.

Hernandez was arrested Tuesday, April 29, and booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center with a cash-only bond set at $15,000.

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