Former teacher accused of groping student now working at UNM golf course

Updated: 09/02/2014 6:24 PM | Created: 09/02/2014 6:08 PM
By: Kai Porter, KOB Eyewitness News 4

ALBUQUEQUE -- A former Cibola High School teacher accused of inappropriately touching a student last year has found a new job where he could come in contact with minors.

The University of New Mexico confirms Antonio Ortega was hired at the North Golf Course in May as a customer service supervisor, but the university said it was unaware of the charges he was facing until KOB contacted UNM.

A spokeswoman for the university said his duties include working at the register, working in the pro shop, making tee times and working in the club house. She said it is possible he could come into contact with minors at work.

Ortega was arrested in May 2013 on charges including criminal sexual contact of a minor, kidnapping, and bribery of a witness. He was indicted by a grand jury shortly after being hired at the golf course. 

"I would think that there would be a little more precaution since he's been charged, but to not let him work, that's not fair too," said golfer Chris Martinez.

Ortega is also listed as a "teaching professional" under the instructor section on the golf course website. UNM said it doesn't know if he's taught minors, since that's something Ortega does on his own time and it's not part of his official job duties.

"They have a summer program for kids here and they're always with chaperons, so I think the kids are safe," said golfer Gary Schwartzman. "I would hope anyway."

A UNM spokesperson sent KOB Eyewitness News 4 a statement on Tuesday which said: ""Mr. Ortega was hired as a customer service supervisor at the north golf course on May 10, 2014. We were not made aware of the original charges from 2013 or the subsequent 5/30/14 grand jury indictment until today."

As of Tuesday, UNM said Ortega was still employed at the golf course.

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