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The Monarch Times

Long-term Tennyson Substitute Arrested in Social Media Child Exploitation Sting

On March 1, the Hayward Unified School District released long-term Tennyson High School substitute teacher Joseph Rudolfo Martinez from employment after he was arrested on child exploitation charges. According to a press release by the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office, Martinez was arrested and booked for “sending harmful material to a minor and the attempted production of child pornography.”

Authorities arrested Martinez after he sent a picture of his penis to who he thought was a 13-year-old girl. Martinez had contacted her through Snapchat under the username “Mr. Teacher Man.” He allegedly snapped the photo while in the same classroom he uses to teach English for 9th and 10th graders. According to court records, authorities said Martinez invited her into his classroom for “naughty fun.” He also asked for nudes to ensure she wasn’t a cop trying to “catch a predator.”

In fact, the alleged 13-year-old was actually an undercover officer from San Jose who created the fake account as part of an 11-day sting operation (a deceptive operation designed to catch people in the act), where police posed as teens on social media.

The sting was tied to “Operation Broken Heart,” a multi-agency collaboration in search of those seeking to exploit minors for sex acts. Authorities arrested Martinez along with five other Bay Area men following the operation.

Furthermore, police noted that this was not Martinez’s first offense. On February 26, he had reached out to undercover officers twice via Snapchat and made sexual advances.

Despite Martinez’s continuous online approaches, “law enforcement authorities   say  they have no reason to believe that any Tennyson or other HUSD student was involved,” according to Superintendent Jason Reimann. Reimann sent out a notice to Tennyson families about Martinez’s arrest on March 4.

“There would be so many girls that would hang out around his desk and talk to him and they had so many relationships. But it didn’t look weird, though. That’s the thing. And he would complain about how much he hates his classes and whatever but like… do you really?” said Ysa Farraren, one of Martinez’s students. Farraren stated that Martinez had a good relationship with his students.

Farraren added that Martinez seemed like a “father figure” to those in his class. But after reading in The Mercury News’ article that Martinez had an interest in minors, including those in his classroom, her interactions with him “weird [her] out now.”

According to Reimann, all HUSD employees get a Department of Justice background check. However, the background check did not reveal any problematic past behavior for Martinez.

HUSD worked closely with authorities to support the investigation after the arrest. Martinez has been bailed out of jail and prosecutors are currently reviewing the case for felony charges.

“This is an opportunity to talk to your student(s) regarding how to report adult misconduct or uncomfortable behavior. At home, families should also be alert to unusual behavior and talk to your student if you notice anything. Please know that we [HUSD] are here to support you in any way possible,” wrote Reimann.

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About the Contributor
Kaylyn Nguyen, Editor-in-Chief
Hi! I’m Kaylyn Nguyen, founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Monarch Times. I started The Monarch Times to provide a source of information for students and bring the Mt. Eden and Hayward community closer together. Outside of writing, I’m involved in various clubs and enjoy photography, reading, and playing video games. Please look forward to more content from The Monarch Times for years to come!  
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