New Mexico Teacher Arrested After Giving Teenage Student a 'Lap Dance' in Classroom Closet, Having Sex with Him

A special-education teacher at Española Valley High School in New Mexico faces a count of rape after she was accused of sexually assaulting a teen student several months ago.

Makana Masacayan, 26, who was working on a visa from the Philippines, has been charged with a fourth-degree felony count of criminal sexual penetration of a minor. She was arrested on Wednesday and booked in the Rio Arriba County jail in Tierra Amarilla.

Masacayan Allegedly Made Advances on the Student, Touched his Genitals

Espanola Valley High School
Espanola Valley High School Facebook

According to a criminal complaint filed in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court, New Mexico State Police began investigating Masacayan after the 16-year-old boy told his juvenile probation officer he had proof on his cellphone he had engaged in a sexual relationship with her. The probation officer told the student's parent, who then reported the information to the state police, the complaint states.

The student told police he met Masacayan at a basketball game and that the two spent time alone in his truck. "He said while parked they did things they were not supposed to," Harwell writes. "He was asked what they did and ultimately said, 'We f——ed."

The student said Masacayan made advances toward him on multiple occasions, the boy said, including giving him a "lap dance" on a chair in a classroom closet and touching his genitals.

School Conducted Investigation in February, Said Claims were 'False'

State police Agent Wyatt Harwell wrote in the complaint he spoke with Española Valley High School Principal Jeffrey Sagor, who said the school was aware of rumors about the teacher having "inappropriate contact" with students. School officials conducted an investigation in February and determined the claims were false, Sagor said, according to the complaint.

Harwell wrote, "They did not notify law enforcement." After obtaining a search warrant to extract data from the boy's cellphone, Harwell wrote, he discovered videos and text messages that "substantiate facts disclosed in [the boy's] forensic interview."

"The videos and text message conversation substantiate facts disclosed in (the student's) forensic interview including: the basketball game, picking her up at her house, her being investigated by the school and asking him to not tell anyone anything that happened, their contact in the chair with wheels in the classroom closet, and both implying that they had a sexually active relationship," Harwell wrote.

Masacayan Removed from Her Position Following Allegations

Española Public Schools said in a statement Thursday the high school learned of the investigation into Masacayan before her arrest and had removed her from any position that involved interaction with students.

"An internal investigation had already been started by [Española Public Schools] and will continue in cooperation with the pending law enforcement investigation. Should the allegations be substantiated, the district will take strong and appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination," the statement said.