A teacher at Great Lakes Academy High School in Plano, Texas has been arrested on child grooming charges.
Jacob Thomas Allred, 32, has been accused of using a messaging app to groom a 15-year-old student for sex, according to police.
Allred was arrested on Tuesday and charged with child grooming, which is a third-degree felony crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison, according to Texas Scorecard. He reportedly teaches the ninth grade at Great Lakes Academy, a private high school that specializes in students with learning disabilities.
On Tuesday, the Plano Police Department released a statement and said that officers received a report on January 8 after a student victim had come forward to her parents about the teacher's alleged behavior.
“On January 8th, 2024, an allegation was made to the Plano Police Department regarding an educator who had committed the offense of Grooming a Child, a violation of Texas Penal Code 15.032. This subject was identified as Jacob Thomas Allred, a 32-year-old male resident of Blue Ridge, Texas, at the time, he was employed at Great Lakes Academy at 6000 Custer Road, located in Plano, Texas,” said the department.
“The allegations centered around Mr. Allred sending inappropriate messages to a child student at the school in a sexual manner. The investigation revealed corroborating information, and a warrant was issued by the District Court in Collin County, Texas. With the assistance of the Highland Village Police Department, Mr. Allred was later taken into custody pursuant to the warrant,” the statement continued.
The student said that after telling her in October that he had sexual feelings for her, Allred started using the Discord app to send her explicit messages. She allegedly handed the police screenshots of the texts, and subsequently, detectives discovered communications in Allred's phone that supported the victim's version of events, the outlet reports.
Allred's apprehension makes him the latest teacher to be accused under the state's new anti-grooming law, which was implemented last year to protect children from sexual abuse and trafficking.
The school announced on Tuesday that Allred resigned.
Allred has since been released from Collin County Jail on a $25,000 bond. According to the outlet, a judge issued an emergency protective order restricting his activities.
The Plano Police Department's Special Victims Unit is continuing to investigate this incident and requests that anyone with information on this or other offenses related to this individual contact the Plano Police Special Victims Unit Tip Line at (972) 941-2044.