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Pasco County teacher arrested for inappropriate sexual contact with 16-year-old student

Posted at 11:23 AM, May 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-02 20:51:47-04

A Pasco County high school teacher has been arrested for reportedly having inappropriate sexual contact with a 16-year-old female student. 

Sean Gallegos, 43, was arrested May 1 by the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. He has been charged with two counts of Sexual Battery Custodial Authority and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail on a Pasco County Warrant. 

Deputies say Gallegos was acting in authority as a teacher employed at Ridgewood High School and that the student and Gallegos engaged in sexual activity on more than one occasion in April 2018. 

Fanya Moore has a son at Ridgewood.

“We leave our kids here with the teachers. They are responsible for them. And having somebody do this to…could have been my kid. Anybody. It’s actually disgusting. They need to put more attention to people they hire and what’s going on. I think it's just nasty," she said.

Tuesday night, the Sheriff’s Office put out an alert that Gallegos was missing and endangered.

That’s because they say he told his wife he was going to harm himself and took off. He was eventually found safe in Hillsborough County and arrested.

In a message to parents, a Ridgewood administrator called the arrest "stunning news" and said the school is providing support to the girl and making sure the robotics classes he taught are covered the rest of the year.

They also asked anyone who saw Gallegos act inappropriately to come forward.

Justin Trahan knew him as both a teacher and an assistant coach on the wrestling team.

“He was a really smart guy and I respected him. It’s kind of cliche to say this but I never expected that from him. And I’m kind of like shocked by it,” Trahan said.

The district says that Gallegos is on paid administrative leave right now. But that’s just until the school board meets in a couple weeks where they will likely suspend him without pay. 

Story Developing. Stay with ABC Action News for updates.