A Texas teacher is facing criminal charges for allegedly carrying out a years-long sexual relationship with a student that she was “in love” with, authorities said.
Misty Lorene Cato, 43, a fifth-grade math teacher at Springtown Intermediate School, was arrested Friday on a charge of improper relationship between educator and student, the Parker County Sheriff’s Office said.
The alleged abuse began when the student was 15-years-old and enrolled in the district, but continued for several years at various places in Parker and Tarrant counties, authorities said. Cato also gave the student rides to schools on numerous occasions.
In an interview with authorities, Cato admitted to having sexual encounters with the student despite knowing that he was juvenile.
The sheriff’s office said it also obtained a recording in which Cato confessed to being “in love” with him for four years and that “seeing him again makes her want to be with him.”
“It is a shame any time we have to investigate these type of cases,” Parker County Sheriff Russ Authier said in a statement.
“It is imperative that our children attend school in a safe environment. Educators play a vital role in that safe environment and have a duty to protect our children.”
Cato has been placed on administrative leave while authorities investigate the case, news station DFW-TV reported.