McALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The McAllen Police Department arrested the assistant director of a regional police academy Tuesday after he was accused of having a sexual relationship with a high school student.
Gilberto “Gilbert” Luna, 35, of Alamo had sex with a high school student in 2018, when he taught law at Sharyland Pioneer High School, according to an affidavit filed with the McAllen Municipal Court.
Investigators assigned the woman a pseudonym — “Ms. Garcia” — to preserve her anonymity.
“Ms. Garcia stated several of their sexual encounters were on school campus, causing fellow students to spread rumors of their involvement,” according to the affidavit. “Ms. Garcia stated she and her friends were coached by Mr. Luna in the event that school personnel were to question the nature of their relationship.”
The relationship started in 2018, when Garcia was 17 years old, according to the affidavit. Garcia ended the relationship in 2020.
“Ms. Garcia was recently made aware of Mr. Luna currently being in possession of her high school transcripts, sexually explicit videos and photographs,” according to the affidavit, and became concerned Luna had created social media accounts to keep tabs on her. “Ms. Garcia stated she believes Mr. Luna will make further attempts to contact or exploit her using the videos and photographs he stored over the years.”
To support her story, Garcia allowed investigators to search her phone and provided them with a photo from 2018 that showed Luna “romantically posing alongside her.”
Court records don’t list an attorney for Luna, who couldn’t be reached for comment.
Luna worked for the Edinburg Police Department and the Weslaco Police Department before accepting a job with the Sharyland Independent School District, according to Texas Commission on Law Enforcement records.
“Sharyland ISD was recently made aware of the arrest of former employee Gilberto Luna,” according to a statement released by the school district. “Mr. Luna was employed with Sharyland ISD until January 20, 2023. The District has not been informed by law enforcement regarding the circumstances surrounding Mr. Luna’s arrest.”
Luna taught classes on law and criminal investigations, according to his page on the Pioneer High School website. Luna also advised student organizations, including the local chapter of the Texas Public Safety Association and the mock trial team.
In November 2022, he accepted a job with the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council, which runs a regional police academy, according to Manuel “Manny” Cruz, the organization’s executive director. Asked if Luna is still employed, Cruz responded: “Currently reviewing situation. Undetermined at this time.”
After his arrest, Luna was transported to the Hidalgo County jail.
Officers booked Luna at 5:24 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Luna was released at 10:47 p.m. after he posted bond.
Luna is charged with improper relationship between educator and student, a second-degree felony. If convicted, he faces 2 to 20 years in prison.