FORT WORTH TX OCT 13 2012 – A former assistant band director at Paschal High School was sentenced to one year in state jail Friday for taking inappropriate photographs of unknowing students.
George A. Flores, 35, pleaded guilty Friday to five counts of improper photography, a state-jail felony, in exchange for the one-year sentence.
State District Judge Robb Catalano approved the sentence but told Flores that, based upon a pre-sentencing investigation that had been conducted in the case, he felt the defendant might not realize the gravity of the case.
“Anytime a teacher uses his position to gain access to children in the way you did is very concerning to the court,” Catalano said.
Catalano recommended Flores take advantage of any available counseling while in state jail and upon his release “to help you not do this again.”
Flores told the judge he agreed with the judge’s words and said he was “truly sorry” for his actions.
“I want to get better,” he told the judge.
Flores was arrested in December 2010 after he was found by TCU police hiding in bushes outside the bedroom window of a 20-year-old student who had been changing clothes.
He told officers he had been looking for a friend.
He was arrested, however, for improper photography after officers found a photo on his phone that appeared to have been taken at the house that night.
Flores was out on bond in the case when a forensic analysis of his phone by Fort Worth police revealed hundreds of inappropriate photos of females, at least seven of which were later identified as Paschal students.
Although the students were clothed, the photographs focused mostly on their buttocks. They appeared to have been taken at school functions, all while the students were unaware they were being photographed, police have said.
Flores was arrested again based on the discovery and later indicted on five counts of improper photography. He had been free on bond prior to Friday’s hearing.
“Here’s a guy in a position of trust where part of his job and credo is to protect our kids,” said Martin Purselley, the prosecutor in the case. “He used that position to further his agenda in surreptitiously photographing them for his own sexual purposes.”
Flores pleaded guilty July 31 to the lesser charge of disorderly conduct, a Class C misdemeanor, in connection with his arrest outside the TCU student’s bedroom in exchange for a $500 fine, court records show.
Purselley said that case was treated as a “peeping” crime because it was unclear in the grainy photograph found on Flores’ phone what had actually been photographed.
Following Friday’s hearing Flores was ordered into custody.
Flores had been in his third year at Paschal and was also a brass arranger for the Grand Prairie-based Forte Drum and Bugle Corps. when arrested in 2010. Prior to Paschal, he had taught inHarlingen.
Harold Johnson, Flores’ defense attorney, declined to comment Friday.
Johnson did confirm, however, that Flores, who was immediately suspended by the Fort Worthschool district after his first arrest, was later fired and no longer has a teaching certificate.
Before Friday’s hearing, Flores, dressed in a dark suit, sat with three supporters, occasionally exchanging kisses with his wife.
None of the victims were present during the hearing.
Before the hearing’s conclusion, Catalano told Flores, “Although the students may not recognize it, this has affected them and probably will affect them for the rest of their lives.”