Gabriel Villarreal

A former H.M. King High School theatre arts teacher is currently being held in the Kleberg County Jail after he was indicted by a grand jury and arrested on three counts of online solicitation of a minor, along with one count of attempted possession of child pornography.

Gabriel Xavier Villarreal, 34, had been under investigation by the Kingsville Police Department since December 2017 after a student’s mother alleged he purchased expensive gifts and sent suspicious text messages to her son.

According to an incident report obtained from the City of Kingsville through a Texas Public Information Act request in December 2017, the alleged victim’s mother brought the concerns to police on Dec. 6, 2017, after she noticed “some odd behavior” between her son and Villarreal, beginning with the teacher giving him new shoes, and later a Michael Kors watch.

Both the alleged victim and Villarreal told the mother that the items had been lent to her son, the report stated. The mother then asked her son to leave with her any items of Villarreal’s “because she wanted to return them.”

According to the report, the student gave his mother several items Villarreal allegedly bought, including two Michael Kors watches, a 24-inch 14-karat gold rope chain with a price tag that showed $1,200, Ray-Ban sunglasses and Chanel men’s cologne.

The alleged victim was told to leave his cell phone with his family, where they discovered, according to the report, messages between the student and Villarreal about the gifts, along with requests for “new pictures or videos” as the student had not sent him any lately.

In the text exchange, the report stated that Villarreal asked the student about what his mother said when she saw the gifts, and said he was scared of her getting upset.

The mother told police that there were messages in-between the conversation “that looked like they had been deleted,” the report stated. According to the report, the only open conversation with Villarreal and the alleged victim was from Dec. 5 to 6, 2017, and if there had been other exchanges between the two, “they have been deleted.”

The report also stated that the student had not made any outcry of anything physically happening between him and Villarreal to his mother, but she told police her son had been “acting differently lately and had shut them out,” and one night he had “needed to talk to her about something serious, but never said what.”

According to a supplemental report, a search warrant was executed at an apartment in Kingsville for “any type of electronics such as cellphones, laptops, USB, ect.” However, there was no information about if anything was found, and Villarreal had at that time not been charged with any crime.

According to an email release from then-KISD Superintendent Carol Perez, Villarreal was “immediately suspended” from the Kingsville Independent School District after it learned of the allegations on Dec. 7, 2017. Villarreal later submitted his resignation, which was “immediately accepted” on Dec. 12, 2017.

Villarreal was arrested on April 11, and is currently being held in the Kleberg County Jail on three counts of online solicitation of a minor and one count of attempted possession of child pornography. Each count carries a $25,000 bond.

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