MILWAUKEE — 24-year-old Katherine Gonzalez of Milwaukee appeared in court on Tuesday, March 14th and waived her right to a preliminary hearing. She’s accused of sexually assaulting a student at Atlas Preparatory Academy.
Gonzalez was charged on March 5th with one count of first degree sexual assault of a child — sexual contact with a person under the age of 13. Parents said Gonzalez taught at Atlas Preparatory’s Kansas Avenue campus.
A criminal complaint indicates the alleged sexual assault involving Gonzalez, a fifth grade teacher, and an 11-year-old male student occurred outside of the school grounds.
The detective in this investigation learned on March 1st, 2017 that an 11-year-old student and Gonzalez had been messaging on Snapchat and Instagram, after it was reported by relatives of the victim. When asked what they messaged each other about, the student said that it was hard to talk about and that what happened wasn’t right.
One of the messages from Gonzalez allegedly said: “I’m in love with a kid, and I hate that I can’t tell anyone.”
The complaint indicates that in late February, Gonzalez picked the student up and they kissed in her car. While in her car, the student told investigators that Gonzalez grabbed him and made him touch her clothed “private part.”
The student further stated that they then went to Gonzalez’s home and that they were the only two people there. The complaint indicates that while on Gonzalez’s couch watching a movie, she inappropriately touched the student.
Additionally, the student said that he and Gonzalez had kissed on the mouth multiple times prior to the date in question.
During an interview with investigators, Gonzalez admitted to communicating with the student via Snapchat for the past several months. She further stated that on Saturday, February 25, 2017, she took the student out as a reward. She admitted to taking the student back to her home that Saturday evening.
When questioned by authorities, Gonzalez explained the inappropriate contact occurred because she was nervous that her adult boyfriend was getting ready to propose marriage — and she was having second thoughts about their relationship. Prosecutors say she also said she wanted to do things to make the victim happy because she believed he was depressed.
Gonzalez has been placed on administrative leave. She is due back in court on March 22nd for her arraignment.