Ex-police office, referee accused of relationship with student
Investigators: Christopher Sutton resigned after Brian Ortiz threatened to tell media
A former Conroe Independent School District police officer and a referee were both arrested on Monday amid allegations that each of the men had an improper relationship with the same student.
Former police Sgt. Christopher Sutton and referee Brian Ortiz have been charged with improper relationship between educator and student, officials said.
"The law clearly states that sexual relationships are prohibited between employees of educational facilities, like high schools, and their students," said Phil Grant, Montgomery County District Attorney.
According to Conroe ISD, the alleged victim is an adult student that attends Caney Creek High School. Officials said the district first learned about the possible charges when Sutton resigned from the Conroe ISD Police Department on Feb. 17.
"Christopher Sutton was a middle-aged man, law enforcement official engaged in a sexual relationship with a student there at the high school," said Grant.
According to documents, Sutton resigned because Ortiz threatened to talk to the media about the alleged relationship. Officials said Ortiz, a football and basketball referee at Caney Creek High School, is believed to be the victim's alleged boyfriend.
"We're going to take these cases very, very seriously. There is no excuse for a police officer that works at a school district, or a coach, or a referee, or a teacher engaging in sexual relationships with their students," said Grant.
Sutton worked as a police officer for the Conroe ISD Police Department for 14 years, serving as sergeant for the past nine years.
"These charges are serious and the safety and well-being of our students remains our highest priority," said Chief William Harness. "The District is working closely with the District Attorney’s office and the city of Conroe Police Department in the investigation."
The district said Ortiz is a referee contracted through Houston TASO Basketball Officials Association, Houston TASO Football Officials Association and the Houston Basketball Officials Association.
Conroe ISD said it encourages anyone with information on the cases to contact Detective Ben Mitchell at 936-522-3215.