AZTEC ― New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was contacted in June by the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) to investigate evidence resulting from a licensure investigation, which indicated that an Aztec High School teacher had an illegal sexual relationship with at least one female high school student.
The evidence and statements turned over by PED indicated that high school math and philosophy teacher James Dee Coulter, 31, of Aztec had an illicit sexual relationship with at least one 17-year-old female student.
The New Mexico State Police initiated an investigation, which remains ongoing, into these allegations. A former Aztec High School female student disclosed to police that she on at least two occasions had sex with Coulter in 2015 when she was 17 years old. During the student’s involvement with Coulter, Coulter told the student that if she said anything about their relationship, he would likely go to jail and it could potentially ruin his life, so the student did not report the relationship.
Through the State Police investigation, agents determined sufficient evidence to obtain an arrest warrant and arrested Coulter around 9 a.m. Friday at an industrial equipment supply company in Farmington where he is employed.
After his arrest, State Police agents interviewed Coulter. Coulter admitted in his interview to several more unlawful sexual relationships with other female high school students. The New Mexico State Police will further investigate these additional crimes and work to identify any other victims in this case. Coulter will be booked into the San Juan County Detention Center and is charged with Criminal Sexual Penetration of a Minor (four counts).
Aug. 9, the PED issued Coulter a notice of contemplated action to revoke Coulter’s state educator license. Coulter is no longer employed as a teacher at the Aztec High School.
This investigation remains ongoing with no further information available at this time.