George Cardenas

George Cardenas

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A Phoenix teacher has been arrested, accused of having a sexual relationship with a teen girl.

Court documents obtained by Arizona's Family reveal officers responded to a home Sept. 8 regarding a child sex abuse investigation. Paperwork states a woman, who is now 26, disclosed having a previous sexual relationship with 35-year-old George Cardenas when she was 16 years old and Cardenas was 25 years old at North High School.

Documents state that the victim was in a sexual relationship with Cardenas and it began in February 2012. She claims Cardenas would pick her up from a nearby Fry's grocery store after school and drive her to his Tempe home where they would have sex in Cardenas' bedroom. Authorities said the victim reported having sex daily during her junior and senior years. The victim said Cardenas would often ask her to say her age to him "as a turn on."

In one instance, Cardenas recorded a video of the two having sex, and the victim said Cardenas would often take photos of them spending time together on various cameras. Documents revealed that Cardenas had sexual contact with the teen girl in his classroom's closet at North High School multiple times as well.

The victim told police that before she turned 18, she would frequently communicate with Cardenas through email. The woman provided investigators with hundreds of pages of printouts of past conversations where investigators found sexually suggestive messages between the victim and Cardenas. In one conversation on Jan. 9, 2013, Cardenas referred to the victim as his "girlfriend" and talked about loving her. According to the police paperwork, two weeks before the victim's 18th birthday, the victim moved in with Cardenas at his Tempe home in July 2013. Cardenas and the victim ended the relationship in 2017, and the victim moved out.

Cardenas is currently listed as a current science and CTE teacher at Wilson College Prep. His bio lists him as being awarded multiple awards including Phoenix Union High School District's "Teacher of the Year" in 2018. Cardenas has been booked on accusations of sexual abuse. 

A spokesperson for Phoenix Union High School District released the following statement: Yesterday afternoon, local law enforcement detained a Wilson College Prep staff member. The safety of those we serve remains our top priority, and at no time during the arrest on campus were any staff or students in danger. When and as appropriate, we will provide an update with more information.  The employee is currently on leave.

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