St. Paul Public School teacher accused of having a sexual encounter with student: Charges

A biology teacher with the St. Paul Public School system faces charges after allegedly having a sexual encounter with his 18-year-old student in a car. 

Pablo Alejandro Cortes, 50, was charged in Ramsey County court on Thursday with one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct while in a prohibited occupational relationship. 

Cortes was placed on administrative leave by Adolescent Girls and Parenting Education (AGAPE) High School after the administration received the report. A St. Paul Public School (SPPS) spokesperson told FOX 9 Friday afternoon Cortes officially resigned and will not be returning to teach with the district after winter break.

"The district is adhering to all policies and procedures regarding this incident and cannot comment further on private personnel matters," the SPPS spokesperson added Friday morning.  

According to the charging document, the 18-year-old student told police Cortes was a science teacher at her school, and they began talking at the end of the school year in May 2022. When school resumed in the fall, Cortes was her biology teacher. 

The student allegedly told police their relationship turned inappropriate during the first week of December. The pair would allegedly text and Snapchat each other and were "joking around but a little flirty," the complaint reads. 

However, the pair decided to meet after school on Dec. 2. and Cortes asked his student if there were going to "just sit in a car" and she said "no." The complaint alleges Cortes instructed the student to follow him as they drove to a parking ramp near Como Park. 

At the parking ramp, the victim claimed Cortes exposed himself, and at that point, she didn’t want to do anything more but continued to because she was scared, the complaint states. 

The victim says she ultimately performed oral sex on Cortes. During the encounter, she told police they both knew what they were doing was wrong, and Cortes fretted about losing his job and girlfriend if the details were to get out.

Afterward, the pair said they were never going to do it again. The teen says Cortes reached out to her later and allegedly stated he felt "so guilty" and "so bad." 

During the investigation, police reviewed surveillance footage from the parking ramp, which allegedly shows Cortes’s car and the student's car on Dec. 2 enter the ramp together, parking on the same floor, and then leaving together, according to court documents. 

Police said Cortes declined to be interviewed through his attorney. Court documents state Cortes was released on his own recognizance on Thursday. His first court appearance has yet to be scheduled.