ARLINGTON (CBS11) – An elementary school principal bonds out of jail, after Frisco police arrested and charged him with soliciting a minor online for sex.
Investigators say 46-year-old Oscar Figueroa thought he was setting up a meeting with a child, but he was really communicating with detectives all along.
Frisco police tell us they had been working with multiple agencies in tracking Figueroa’s online footprints. He was the principal at Viridian Elementary School in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford I-S-D.
News of his arrest stunned parents in the neighborhood. “Shocking and disappointing,” said Rethsey Jasso. “Someone in such a high area of taking care of children should be really watching out what they had been doing at all times. It’s a shame.”
The oldest of Rethsey Jasso’s four children attends Viridian Elementary. She’s not sure that will continue. “Honestly, it makes me want to hunker down, and not send my kids to public school. It’s a shame that this happened.”
Oscar Figueroa came to Viridian Elementary School as principal from another HEB elementary school when Viridian opened in 2014.
Frisco police arrested him at Stonebriar Center Tuesday after they say he arranged for what he thought was an online hookup with a child. Only police say he was actually communicating with detectives, and that no children were contacted. Officer Chad LaPrelle said Frisco Police want to know if there are other potential victims; he also warned parents to be aware of the dangers of social media. “People are growing up fast in the world of social media today so you want your parents and kids to talk about the concerns and dangers of being online.”
LaPrelle says his detectives were also working with other agencies in tracking Figueroa’s online footprints.
Today the HEB superintendent notified parents and staff in phone call saying in part, “We are as taken aback as you may be…” and that “He (Figueroa) is being placed on administrative leave and we are cooperating fully with the Frisco Police Department.” By this afternoon his name and picture were no longer on the Veridian website. “As a mom you’re always worried. But I hope nothing else comes about,” Jasso concluded.
But Figueroa has online supporters, too. “We love Mr. Figueroa! I hope it’s all a mistake,” wrote one Facebook post. Another added, “Regardless of the recent news I hope and pray it’s misunderstanding. I will continue to support Viridian and our principal.”
Figeuro has been with HEB since 2007 and served as a school principal since 2011. Little Elm and Richardson ISDs confirmed he worked for them prior to that, all the way back to 1991.
CBS 11 News was unable to reach Figueroa or anyone representing him for his version of what happened.
The full text of the statement from HEB ISD Superintendent Steve Chapman is as follows:
Viridian Elementary Parents and Staff,
You may have heard or seen in the news late last night or this morning the report of a situation involving Viridian’s principal, Oscar Figueroa.
We are as taken aback as you may be and want to make you aware of the information the District has at this time.
On July 7, 2015 at approximately 5:00 pm the District was contacted by the Frisco Police Department to notify us Mr. Figueroa had been arrested for solicitation of a minor. He is being placed on administrative leave and we are cooperating fully with the Frisco Police Department. We are following all state and local policies as this situation is investigated and the allegations are addressed.
Frisco PD has requested anyone with information related to these allegations contact the police department at 972-292-6010.
Viridian Elementary is a top priority as we begin this new school year and as decisions are made concerning campus leadership we will keep you informed.
The Viridian staff and families developed a strong partnership of support this past year. This will enable you to continue as a positive and caring school community for students.
The safety and security of our students is always top priority. Thank you for your support.
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