AUSTIN, Texas -- One of the students with whom former Texas teacher Haeli Wey allegedly had a sexual relationship told police the woman asked him to help stop rumors that they were “hooking up,” police claim in an arrest affidavit. The documents also allege that Wey tried to cover up her phone and social media communications with the two students and had sexual contact with them at the same Austin park.
Wey, 28, a former math teacher at Westlake High School, in Austin, Texas, was arrested on Dec. 17 on two counts of felony improper relationship between educator and student, for a pair of alleged months-long relationships with teenage boys. Police say the alleged crimes occurred during the summer and fall of 2015. Under Texas law, it is illegal for teachers to have sex with students, even if they are at least 17 years old, the state’s legal age of consent.
One of the alleged relationships came to light when a student witness at the school told school administrators in late October that she had seen text messages between Wey and the first victim, 17, according to the affidavit. Concerned, administrators contacted the victim’s parents, who agreed to allow a Travis County Sheriff’s Office officer to interview their son.
The boy told police he met Wey in July of this year at a summer camp, the documents allege, and that he didn’t know she was a teacher at the high school he attended until the start of the school year. He said he began communicating with Wey in mid-September via social media and text message on his phone, talking about “just random things.”
He told an officer there were rumors at school that he was “hooking up” with Wey - which he said meant having sex - and that Wey asked him to help stop the rumors. The boy said another student at the school had found messages between him and Wey on his Instagram account, according to the documents, confirming he had met the teacher after school. The student had “showed the messages to everybody.”
Police say they uncovered text messages from Wey on the alleged victim’s cellphone sent on Sept. 24, 2015. A “brief summary” of the messages from Wey recounted in the affidavit included:
“Are u into hiking?”
“Well for chatting hiking is prob better...”
“Do u know where commons ford park is?”
“Yup! We could meet there...there are some secluded hiking trails...and I can bring my eno
Perfect! Wanna say tomorrow around 6:30?”
“Eno” apparently referenced an “Eagles Nest Outfitters” hammock. Wey then apparently tried to cover up the communication, texting the boy,
“Delete our convo from Instagram please and don’t let anyone get a hold of ur phone”
When police asked the boy whether he was expecting to have sex with Wey on the hike, he responded in the affirmative, saying “a teacher just doesn’t hang out with a student to hang out.”
According to the affidavit, the hike Wey planned at Commons Ford Park lasted about two hours, from 5 to 7 p.m. The boy said he and Wey had sexual contact after the woman took out a hammock while the two were on a secluded trail.
The second victim, also 17, allegedly told police he met Wey at a “student ministry program” in June 2015, and that later in the summer she accompanied his family on a trip to Africa.
“The victim said while in Africa his relationship with Ms. Wey become more personal and on a deeper level,” a detective wrote in the affidavit. “The victim stated while in Africa their relationship became physical.”
The victim allegedly told police he had sex with Wey more than 10 times after the trip, but stopped the relationship after he heard a rumor that she went on a hike with the second alleged victim.
In August, he said, after they arrived home from Africa, Wey texted him to come to her home in Austin, according to the documents. He said he snuck out of his house to meet her there, and they had sex in her bedroom. The victim said they also had sex in Wey’s car two or three times, including one instance at Commons Ford Park after Wey drove there.
The boy told police Wey sent him photos of herself in her underwear and nude.
Police say the first victim later told his parents about the relationship, and they contacted authorities. He said Wey asked him, “What did you tell them” and “Why did you tell them,” describing her as “getting dramatic.” He said Wey would send him multiple texts and call him multiple times until he responded.
In an interview Tuesday with Crimesider, Wey’s attorney, Larry Sauer, said the case can’t be judged on the information available in affidavits. Sauer said the affidavits mostly mention texts and social media as evidence, which he said prosecutors “take as gospel ... but those things are not always entirely accurate.”
Sauer noted that Wey has not been indicted in the case, so he has been unable to review evidence. He said the case has gotten more coverage in the national media than other cases he’s worked involving arrests for improper relationship between educator and student.
“I think because she’s an attractive young woman, that it’s drawn a lot more attention than if it was a male,” Sauer said.
Wey bonded out of jail Thursday night, Dec. 17, and has been ordered by the court not to have contact with the two alleged victims. According to the Texas Education Agency, she had voluntarily surrendered her teaching certification on Dec. 15.
In October, school officials released a statement to parents and staff of Westlake High School following the initial report of inappropriate behavior, reports CBS affiliate KEYE. The district released a second statement last week.
“This incident is shocking and upsetting,” Eanes ISD Superintendent Dr. Tom Leonard wrote.
Wey is scheduled to appear in court on January 7.