EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A former principal at an IDEA school was arrested on multiple counts of harassment.
Travis Wallace Lester was arrested on three counts of harassment, two counts of violating a protective order, and one count of publishing/threatening to publish intimate material, according to Hidalgo County Public Records.
According to a criminal complaint obtained by ValleyCentral, Lester is accused of sending a former coworker repeated messages to “harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass,” her.
In October 2021, the victim was working at the same campus as Lester, who was the principal at IDEA Edinburg College Preparatory. The complaint stated that the woman admitted that at one point she and Lester exchanged “intimate photographs” of each other.
She tried to end the relationship when Lester got hostile, the complaint stated. She filed a complaint that Lester was creating a “hostile work environment,” and he was ultimately terminated after an investigation, according to the documents.
On Jan. 21, 2022, an officer was dispatched to the victim’s home in reference to a report of harassment. According to the complaint, the victim told officers she had received multiple unwanted emails from the account “email@example.com”, who she believes is from Lester.
Two days prior, she received a message from righteousone22 stating that Lester was “found dead in his backyard” and had hung himself.
On Jan. 28, 2022, an officer responded to the IDEA Academy in Edinburg in reference to a package to the victim from Lester. The package caused “immediate concern for the safety of its students” and the McAllen Bomb Squad and FBI responded, the complaint stated.
According to the complaint, the package had traces of methamphetamines, and a hand-written letter. The letter was addressed to “Little Elf” and signed “T.” The package also contained a locket of a Viking shield and said “you would have made an amazing Viking Shield Maiden.”
On Jan. 30, 2022, an officer responded to the victim’s home because she believed Lester was driving by her residence. The victim stated that she received $1 on CashApp with a heart message while a vehicle, believed to be Lester’s, drove by the residence.
The following day an officer called Lester and he was advised to stop all communication with her.
That same day, the victim received another message from a random phone number, saying that Lester killed himself and that he knew about harassment charges being filed against him. The court documents show the victim then filed another harassment report.
On Feb. 9, 2022, an officer responded to the victim’s residence again. The victim claimed she was receiving emails from a new email “firstname.lastname@example.org” threatening to share the intimate photographs of the victim to the school.
On March 19, 2022, she received another email from the same user titled “truth and consequences” which contained several of the intimate images she sent Lester earlier, the complaint stated.
On June 22, Lester was arrested by Edinburg police on several harassment charges and unlawful disclosure or promotion of intimate visual material, a state jail felony. A state jail felony has a range of punishment from six months to two years in jail, and a fine of up to $10,000.
Lester was issued a bond amount totaling $30,000 and was released the following day.
ValleyCentral reached out to IDEA who released the following statement:
“Mr. Lester was previously a principal at IDEA Edinburg College Preparatory but has not been employed by our organization for some time. As this matter involves actions not affiliated with our campus, all further questions should be directed to the appropriate law enforcement agency.”IDEA Public Schools