A former Rio Vista ISD teacher was arrested early Friday morning after a three-month investigation. He was charged with attempting to engage in an improper relationship with a student, Rio Vista Police Chief Perry Curry said Tuesday.
Kevin Duane Pongratz, 29, of Burleson turned himself in at the Johnson County Law Enforcement Center about 3 a.m. Friday. Police attempted to arrest him earlier in the day at his home but he wasn’t there, Perry said. Johnson County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Ronny McBroom set bail for Pongratz at $25,000, and jail activity records provided by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office show that Pongratz posted bail and was released that same day.
Curry said that attempted improper relationship between an educator and a student is a third-degree felony. He said it is a relatively new charge intended for use in cases such as this in which there was no sexual contact but “things happened that shouldn’t have happened.”
Allegations against Pongratz involve a 14-year-old female student, Curry said.
Rio Vista ISD Superintendent Tim Wright said Tuesday afternoon when the allegations first surfaced, he put Pongratz on administrative leave, but that after police were notified, Pongratz resigned voluntarily.
“When this situation was reported to me, I reported it to the police chief, and to the State Board of Education [for] certification review” as required, Wright said. “We [school officials] did what we had to do to keep our kids safe.”
Wright said that Pongratz’s teaching certificate is under review by the State Board of Education now. If the allegations are proved false, Wright said, the board could reissue that certificate. But if he is found guilty, the board will revoke Pongratz’s teaching certificate “and he will never teach again.”
RVISD board meeting minutes indicate that Pongratz was hired in July 2012 and the school district’s website lists Pongratz as a teacher and a coach.