Trial of Former West Texas Youth Prison Administrator Underway

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — A prosecutor says a West Texas youth prison administrator gave inmates special treatment, candy and promises of financial aid before sexually abusing them in closets and classrooms.

Opening statements were Tuesday in the Lubbock trial of former West Texas State School principal John Paul Hernandez. He’s charged with two counts of sexual assault and nine counts of improper relationship between an educator and a student.

Adrienne McFarland told jurors that Hernandez was warned by teachers and staff against going behind closed doors with students.

Defense attorney Albert G. Valadez told jurors that there is no physical evidence, such as DNA, of the alleged assaults.

The first witness, Texas Ranger Brian Burzinski, said he was called to the state school in February 2005 and spoke to two of the alleged victims.


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