Former Atascocita HS coach, teacher accused of improper relationship with student

An undated mugshot of James Douglas Welch Jr.
An undated mugshot of James Douglas Welch Jr. (KPRC2)

ATASCOCITA, Texas – A 38-year-old former coach at Atascocita High School is accused of having an improper relationship with a student.

James Douglas Welch Jr., who joined the Atascocita campus in August 2016 and was a world geography teacher and an assistant coach for girls’ basketball, is accused of kissing and putting his hands down the pants of a female student while in the parking lot of an area Walmart in May, according to court documents.

The 16-year-old student provided two written statements implicating Welch, court records indicate.

Surveillance cameras at Walmart confirmed the student's story, according to court records.

Welch was not employed by the Humble Independent School District this school year.

The student's parents reported the improper relationship after they discovered inappropriate text messages on their daughter's phone.

According to court records, Welch had recently searched "improper student teacher relationship" and "law enforcement access to SnapChat."

He is due in court Tuesday and is being held in the Harris County Jail on a $40,000 bond. On top of the improper relationship charge, he is also charged with sexual assault of a child younger than 17.

Here is a letter that was sent home to parents:

"This morning, Humble ISD Police arrested former teacher James Douglas Welch, Jr.  He was charged with improper relationship between an educator and a student and sexual assault of a child under the age of 17. Mr. Welch joined our campus in August 2016 and was a world geography teacher and an assistant coach for girls’ basketball. He was not employed by Humble ISD this school year.

"On May 30, 2018, we received information about the allegation. We took immediate action by launching an investigation. He resigned when questioned.

"Humble ISD Police continued to investigate, presenting evidence to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office of inappropriate touching of a female student off campus.

"Humble ISD works with law enforcement for the well-being of all children. The district has zero-tolerance for inappropriate student-staff relationships. We took the additional step of informing the State Board for Educator Certification. Unacceptable behavior will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

"As you can understand, in order to protect the victim’s privacy, I cannot provide additional details."