Investigation Ongoing for Jailed Odessa Teacher

Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Bryan Berta, a 9th-grade world geography teacher at Bonham Junior High was put behind bars in Andrews County on Wednesday night.

The investigation into the improper relationship that Berta had with a female student at Bonham all started last week.

That's when school district officials said allegations were first brought up by local parents to Odessa Police.

"We became aware of some allegations concerning a teacher and a student late last week,"  Mike Adkins, ECISD Director of Communications, said. "We immediately had our police department begin investigating it."

"They were initially reported to the Odessa Police Department," Lt. Mark Rowden, with ECISD Police, said. "It was from the parents."

How long the relationship lasted and how those parents found out about it isn't being released at this time.

School officials said they began their investigation with Odessa Police and Ector County Justice of the Peace Woody Kupper and arrested Berta on Monday.

"We did issue four arrest warrants for Mr. Berta," Adkins said. "This afternoon, we issued three more, both times he was taken into custody. In between those days he did offer his resignation. He's no longer employed by ECISD."

Berta was arrested on Monday and bond was set at $140,000, which he bonded out of.

He was arrested again on Wednesday with three more charges and remains behind bars with bond set at $90,000.

All seven charges placed against Berta were second-degree felonies. The four on Monday were for sexual assault, and the three on Wednesday were for improper relationship between a teacher and a student.

"We currently have officers in Andrews right now conducting an investigation," Rowden said. "Mr. Berta was booked into the Andrews County Jail. He will go before a judge in Andrews County. Our investigation is ongoing. It is ongoing and we will have everything ready to submit to our District Attorney here shortly."

According to Berta's Facebook page, he lives in Andrews, where he's currently being held.

Authorities said Berta was cooperative and tendered his resignation.

School officials said now the next step is filling his position and stressing to parents that the safety of their children at school is top priority.

"We do put a very high priority, top priority, on having a safe learning environment for our students and that doesn't change," Adkins said. "We want parents to know that we're committed to that."

As far as details to the identity of the student or how the allegations were first found by the parents, officials wouldn't tell NewsWest 9 as the investigation is still ongoing.

Keep it right here on NewsWest 9, NewsWest, and on our Facebook page as we continue to update you as more details come to light.