Dustin Ray Leonard, 28, of Lubbock, appeared Monday in federal court and pleaded guilty to enticement of a minor.
Leonard faces 10 years to life in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and five years to life of supervised release. Leonard has been in custody since his arrest on May 22, 2018, and will remain in custody pending sentencing.
According court documents, on July 16, 2016, Leonard was hired by the Slaton Independent School District (SISD), as a high school teacher and coach. On April 12, 2018, the Slaton High School and SISD Chief of Police learned of a possible inappropriate relationship that happened between Leonard and an 11th grade female student.
The SISD Superintendent received an audio recording that another student had made of Leonard. In the recording, Leonard was telling a female student about his marital problems. Leonard, after being confronted by SISD about the recording, provided SISD a written letter of resignation, citing personal and family concerns. On May 8, 2018, the SISD school board met and accepted the resignation effective May 18, 2018.
On May 21, 2018, Slaton Police Department (SPD) was provided information regarding Leonard's Snapchat account and an inappropriate relationship he was having with the female student. Leonard was later interviewed and admitted that he and the student had been in a sexual relationship since January 2018.
The Slaton Police Department, Slaton Independent School District Police Department, the Texas Rangers, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey R. Haag is in charge of the prosecution.