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DOJ: Austin ISD employee traveled to Colombia to have sex with minors

Michael Roberts was arrested in Round Rock and charged with three counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place.

ROUND ROCK, Texas — An Austin ISD teacher was arrested in Round Rock on Thursday on criminal charges related to his alleged involvement in engaging in "illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place," according to the U.S. Department of Justice

Court documents state 40-year-old Michael Roberts, a content interventionist, traveled from the U.S. to Colombia to engage in illegal sexual conduct with minors between December 2020 and June 2021.

The DOJ said Roberts is charged by a federal indictment with three counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place. If convicted, Roberts faces up to 30 years in prison on each of the three counts. 

A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors, the DOJ said. 

AISD confirmed that Roberts was an employee with the school district on Thursday. The school district said its police department was notified by the Department of Homeland Security that officials had arrested Roberts on the charges.

He is a current employee at Sadler Means Young Women's Leadership Academy and Garcia Young Men's Leadership Academy. He is a former employee at Navarro Early College High School. 

AISD said Roberts cleared the district's background check process in July 2021 and began working for the school district at the start of the 2021-22 school year.

The school district has placed Roberts on administrative leave, effective immediately.

AISD said its police department is now working with the DHS on the investigation. 

The district clarified that at this time, there have been no allegations that Roberts had any inappropriate contact with any AISD students.

"The safety of all our students is our top priority. We know that many of our students and families will have questions and concerns. Extra counseling support will be available as needed, in addition to our campus counselors and staff," AISD Associate Superintendent of Secondary Schools Laura Stout said in a letter to parents.

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