Tempe student teacher accused of sexual misconduct with student


by Natalie Brand

Bio | Email | Follow: @NatalieBrand


Posted on December 2, 2013 at 9:12 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 10 at 1:13 PM

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- An Arizona State University student, who was placed at Tempe High School as a student teacher, is accused of sexual misconduct with a female student.

Joel Calderon, 26, was arrested on Nov. 26, according to Sgt, Michael Pooley with the Tempe Police Department.

Calderon had been student teaching at Tempe High School since the beginning of the school year. He was placed in the math department, where he met the student.

Police said they were notified by school administrators when they became aware of the relationship.

Calderon admitted to police that he had an inappropriate relationship with the 16-year-old student.

"It does surprise me," said Calderon's cousin and roommate.

Police said Calderon used social media to get to know the student, which led to them becoming intimate. Court records say that Calderon became "friends" with the victim on Facebook. He also connected with other Tempe High School students on Facebook.

Police said in Facebook chats Calderon wrote about how it was inappropriate for him to contact students outside of class. He also stated that he would not be considered a teacher because he was not employed by the high school.

The sexual conduct occurred at Calderon’s residence on multiple occasions and not at the school, according to police.

"I'm just shocked," said Dairany Blanco, who says Calderon assisted one of her teachers and tutored classmates. "He was really quiet; he wasn't rude or anything."

"Honestly, not really surprising anymore," said senior Helana Howard. "They're teaching you. They should be teaching you that's wrong, not encouraging you to do it."

Calderon is facing six counts of sexual conduct with a minor.

Only one victim has been identified at this time. However, anyone who may have additional information is encouraged to call the Tempe Police Department at 480-350-8311.