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TCOLE Instructor Arrested After 3 Cadets Make Complaints
A Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council (LRGVDC) Police Academy Instructor was arrested for alleged crimes towards multiple cadets. The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) instructor was identified as Andres Maldonado; who claims to be a tenured prior law enforcement official. He was not directly employed by TCOLE, but was authorized to perform courses of instruction for TCOLE licensing through the LRGVDC Police Academy. The incidents occurred on a Texas State Technical College (TSTC) campus located in Harlingen, Texas.
FIRST COMPLAINT: TCOLE Instructor Grabs Cadets Hair
On January 10, 2022, a cadet filed an assault and official oppression report with TSTC Police due to an incident that occurred on December 31, 2021. The female cadet claims Maldonado grabbed her pony tail and pulled her head back. She also claims Maldonado placed his face close to her face which made her feel uncomfortable.
The cadet stated she felt embarrassed, disgusted, and humiliated because most of the cadets saw what Maldonado did. They also asked her if Maldonado kissed her. The cadet stated she was attempting to pull away from Maldonado, but he was pulling her hair hard and with force.
The cadet went on to stated that Maldonado is “always turing everything he taught into something sexual.” The cadet claims Maldonado would make statements such as, “if you [explicit] with me I will [explicit] with you.”
The date of the report, by the cadet, was the second time Maldonado pulled her hair.
SECOND COMPLAINT: TCOLE Instructor Makes Advances Towards Female Cadet
On January 11, 2022, a second cadet filed an assault and official opression report with TSTC Police due to an incident that occurred in November of 2021.
The female cadet claims Maldonado was teaching a course while sitting on a chair with wheels, when he moved the chair in front of the cadet. Once he moved the chair he began touching her with his leg and tried to position his leg in-between hers. The cadet claims Maldonado looked under the desk in the area of the cadets private parts. The cadet stated to TSTC Police she was in shock and became tense over the encounter.
The cadet went on to explain that Maldonado would move his chair another three or four times, in front of her desk. She stated when Maldonado would roll away he would try and get her attention by spreading his legs and scratching his arm that was in his private area.
She indicated that Maldonado would frequently make sexually suggestive comments in Spanish. The comments would be directed towards her and he would blow kisses at her. The cadet informed the TSTC Police that Maldonado asked her various sexually explicit questions and made reference to attempting to blackmail her.
THIRD COMPLAINT: TCOLE Instructor Antagonizes Cadet About Mustache
On February 14, 2022, a third cadet filed an assault and official oppression report with the TSTC Police. The report indicated that on December 8, 2021, during a Standard Field Sobriety Training (SFST) class, Maldonado had touched the male cadets face and explains to the cadet his mustache was getting long.
Initially, the cadet dismissed the comment because he was not assigned to the Cameron County LRGVDC Police Academy and where he was assigned know one reference any concerns with his mustache.
On December 10, 2022, Maldonado went outside to an area where the cadet was located and stated, “I see you still haven’t shaved.” The cadet claims Maldonado approached him later in the day, during an SFST final exam and drew out a small folding pocket knife with his right hand and proceeding to open and press the blade against the cadets left mouth cheek area.
The cadet claims Maldonado said, “I should just cut it right not.” The cadet, by his account, claims he was concerned by the behavior and felt scared.
LRGVDC Police Academy Provides TCOLE Instructor Opportunity to Explain His Actions
On January 18, 2022, the LRGVDC Police Academy Director stated a meeting was held with their Human Resources and Maldonado. Maldonado was offered an opportunity to respond to the allegations made by the cadet. Maldonado declined to respond and was terminated from the LRGVDC Police Academy.
The Cadets Requested Criminal Prosecution of the TCOLE Instructor
The cadets indicated they wanted charges to be brought against Maldonado for the allegations made to the TSTC Police.
On May 27, 2022, Maldonado was charged with three counts of Texas Penal Code 22.01, Assault, Class C Misdemeanor and three counts of Texas Penal Code 39.03, Official Oppression, Class A Misdemeanor.
The TSTC Police obtained the misdemeanor warrants from the Honorable Eloy Cano Jr.. He is a Cameron County Precinct 5, Place 2, Justice of the Peace.
On June 7, 2022, Maldonado was magistrated for all counts and he was arraigned on the Class C Assault charges. He plead ‘not guilty,” to the Class C charges.
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