An Arkansas teacher has been arrested after she was accused of sexually assaulting a teen boy. Chrystal Vega was charged October 12 with first-degree sexual assault, according to Pope County court records.
Vega taught eighth-grade language arts at Dardanelle Middle School, according to a now-deleted page on the district’s website. The Dardanelle Public Schools have not commented about Vega’s arrest. It is not clear if she is still employed by the school district. She was released on bond and is scheduled to appear in court in December for her arraignment, River Valley Now reports.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Vega Admitted to Having a ‘Texting Relationship’ With the Boy & Says She ‘Crossed the Line,’ but Denies Having ‘Sexual Contact’ With Him, Police Say
Chrystal Vega was charged Friday, October 12, with first-degree sexual assault after an investigation that began on September 11, 2018, according to court documents filed in Pope County court. The 16-year-old victim went to the Russellville Police Department that day and said “he had engaged in a sexual relationship with Chrystal Vega who was a school teacher in the district where he went to school,” according to court documents.
The victim told police he met Vega at Old Post Park in Russellville on September 7 and got into the passenger seat of her car, a black Chevrolet Camaro. “They engaged in sexual intercourse and Vega performed oral sex on him,” the victim told police. According to court documents, investigators asked the teen to text Vega while he was with them. “Vega texted about never getting to see her kids again,” according to court documents.
Police obtained security video from the park that supported the teen’s claim, according to court documents. “Officers obtained security footage from cameras around the park and observed the black Camaro coming and going at the time stated by the victim,” prosecutors said.
When Vega was interviewed by detectives about the allegation, she “admitted she had a texting relationship and that some of their texts had crossed the line. Vega admitted that she met (the) victim at the park, but she denied sexual contact with the victim,” according to court documents.
You can read the court documents below:
2. She Is a Graduate of Arkansas Tech University & Had Been a Teacher at Dardanelle Middle School Since 2011 After Teaching in Her Hometown, Dover
Chrystal Compton Vega is a native of Dover, Arkansas, where she played basketball in high school, graduating in 1996. She was inducted into the district’s athletics hall of fame in 2014. Vega attended Arkansas Tech University, graduating in 2000 with a degree in health information and administration, according to a now-deleted Linkedin profile. She later completed an additional education degree in middle childhood language arts.
Vega began her teaching career in her hometown, working as a middle school language arts and science teacher.
In 2011, she began working in the Dardanelle school district at the middle school as an eighth-grade science teacher. In 2012, she became a language arts and business teacher at Dardanelle Middle School.
3. Vega Is Divorced & Is the Mother of 2 Young Sons
Vega is the mother of two young sons, according to her social media profiles. She is divorced from her husband, who is the head baseball and football coach at Dardanelle High School, according to the district’s website.
Vega and her husband were married in 2003 and divorced in 2016, Yell County court records show.
4. She Faces 6 to 30 Years in Arkansas State Prison if Convicted of First-Degree Sexual Assault
According to court documents, Vega was charged with sexual assault in the first degree. State law says a suspect is guilty of the charge when he or she, “knowingly, willfully and unlawfully (engages) in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual activity with a minor who is not the actor’s spouse and the actor is an employee of the victim’s school or school district, the same constituting a class A felony, against the peace and dignity of the State of Arkansas.”
If convicted, Vega faces between 6 to 30 years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000. The case is being prosecuted by David Gibbons.
“As a parent that’s just mortifying,” Dardanelle resident Mari Lane told KARK-TV about the allegations against Vega. “At the same time you’ve also got to look at both sides, did it really happen?” Lane said texting a student is, “Totally inappropriate. Totally inappropriate. I would be livid as a parent because there’s nothing you can say to my child after school. If she’s admitted to it then by all means that’s not okay.”
5. Vega Was Released an Hour After Being Booked Into the Pope County Detention Center
Chrystal Estelle Vega was arrested on October 15 after a bench warrant was filed on October 12. She was booked into the Pope County Detention at 9:40 a.m. on October 15 and released at 10:41 a.m. According to River Valley Now, Vega posted $7,500 bond. She is scheduled to appear in Pope County Circuit Court at the Pope County Courthouse on December 10 at 9 a.m.
It is not clear if Vega has hired an attorney. She could not be reached for comment about the accusations. The Dardanelle school district has also not commented about Vega’s arrest and the accusations against her.