Private school administrator faces sexual assault charges

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ALAMOGORDO, N.M. — An administrator at a private Christian school is facing allegations that he sexually assaulted a student.

34-year-old Trevor Lavalais, the director and acting principal at Legacy Christian Academy, was arrested last Friday on multiple criminal counts.

Court records say Lavalais currently faces one count of criminal sexual penetration of a minor, under 13 years of age; three counts of criminal sexual contact with a minor, under 13 years of age; and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, under 18 years of age.

The abuse is alleged to have happened on the tiny campus of Legacy Christian Academy, which has 18 students.

Investigators say the charges came last week after a 12-year-old student told a councilor that Lavalais had recently engaged him in sexual activity that included watching pornography.

“A councilor of one of the kids disclosed to law enforcement, that councilor had learned something from one of the kids, primarily surrounding the principal showing pornography to the child,” Scott Key, district attorney for New Mexico’s Twelfth Judicial District, said.

It was later learned that Lavalais may have had three or four similar encounters with the alleged victim.

“We are talking about events and grooming behavior that occurred in the days, weeks and months prior to that even,” Key said.

Key added that charges against Lavalais related to similar activity with other students is possible.

Lavalais is currently in jail. The District Attorney’s Office has filed a motion to keep him detained while he awaits trial.

A pretrial detention hearing on the motion is scheduled for tomorrow.

Todd Holmes, Lavalais’ attorney, did not return calls requesting comment on the charges against his client. The school also declined to comment about the ongoing investigation.