Ex-Pasadena ISD asst. cheer coach accused of having sex with student

By Robert Arnold - Investigative Reporter, Mia Radford

PASADENA, Texas - Pasadena Independent School District police launched an investigation after what is believed to be a nude photo of a teacher started showing up on the phones of students at Pasadena High School.

"She's going to lose her job, that's the first thing that came to my mind," said a student who declined to give his name, but claimed to have received the photo.

Court records state the photo is believed to be that of Ashley Zehnder, a biology teacher and assistant cheerleading coach. Pasadena ISD officials said Zehnder was hired by the district in August 2013.

"When I heard about it, it was on Twitter, like on a social media so everything kind of like went around," said student Marlene Aquilar. "Why would a teacher do that? It's like you're supposed to be professional and imagine like going to school that day and having everybody seeing like your body."

After the photo was circulated, Pasadena ISD police began investigating a possible relationship between Zehnder and a student. Zehnder was placed on administrative leave the first week of October and resigned Oct. 9, according to district officials.

Zehnder, 24, was arrested Monday and charged with improper relationship with a student.

Court records state Zehnder and the student had a sexual relationship from May to August of this year and met at her apartment. Court records indicate messages on their phones led to confessions.

Police wrote the student admitted to sending the nude photo of Zehnder to his friends and Zehnder "initially denied any relationship, however after being confronted with the phone messages on the Complainant's phone, she ultimately admitted to having sexual contact."

Pasadena ISD officials released a statement following Zehnder's arrest: "These charges are very serious and this behavior will not be tolerated in Pasadena ISD. When a teacher violates the trust of a student, it makes it difficult for the majority of teachers who genuinely care for the safety and well-being of students.

Zehnder has posted a $10,000 bond. She appeared before a judge on Monday morning.

Copyright 2014 by Click2Houston.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.