Sharpstown Principal's Lawyer, Rusty Hardin, Says Rob Gasparello Did Report Sexual Abuse

Categories: Education

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Last week, Sharpstown Principal Rob Gasparello and two assistant principals, Silvio Leiva and Jason Thomson, were arrested and charged with counts of failure to report sexual abuse of students. Now, the lawyer representing Gasparello is saying he did everything right.

Gasparello was charged in relation to two reported incidents, one with a 16-year-old student who said she'd been sexually assaulted before school, another concerning a teacher, Ysidoro Rosales-Motola, who allegedly had sexual contact with three different male students. Both the incidents were reported to Gasparello in October and the principal failed to contact law enforcement regarding these incidents, according to court documents.

However, Rusty Hardin, the lawyer representing Gasparello, has come out with a statement claiming that Gasparello actually did handle things according to the law and report the incidents.

"The spirit of this law was to be used against people who hide abuse allegations - not against people who take them seriously and act immediately like Mr. Gasparello did" Hardin said in a statement.

According to Hardin, the principal, who has been much vaunted for his efforts to turn Sharpstown High School around before he got arrested and everything, took appropriate measures in both cases.

"It is extremely unfair and unfortunate that he faces misdemeanor charges for allegedly not reporting possible abuse. That paints him in a false light. He in fact conscientiously looked into the two incidents and took swift action," Hardin stated in the release.

In regards to the reported sexual assault of the 16-year-old student, Hardin says Gasparello informed the girl's mother of an off-campus assault by a family member. He then made sure the girl and her mother reported the incident to the Houston Police Department within four hours of learning of the incident. He also got her counseling, according to Hardin.

Rosales-Motola was charged with with one felony count of indecency with a child and two felony counts of an improper relationship with a student. These charges stem from incidents that occurred, one in May and two in October. Rosales-Motola was arrested on Friday after he failed to show up for his court date.

According to Hardin, on learning of the allegations, Gasparello immediately took steps to ensure Rosales-Motola was not alone with students and that there was always an adult present while investigating. He then reported the matter to the parents of the students and got them counseling. He also reported the allegations to his superiors within 72 hours, expecting them to contact law enforcement, according to Hardin's statement.

In the Hardin version of things, Gasparello did everything right, a remarkably different version of events from those related in court documents. (According to court documents, Gasparello learned of these allegations and the sexual assault of the student in October, but failed to contact law enforcement.)

Jeff McShan, spokesman with the Harris County District Attorney's office, is getting back to us with a statement and we'll update as soon as he does.

Denisse Cantu, HISD spokesperson, said that as this is an ongoing criminal investigation the district has no comment at the present time, about the case.

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No vindication for this nonprofessional. Please read my post.


Those kids' parents need to get started on a civil suit before statute of limitations expire. I don't know about damages, but this is big. The students in sharpstown have a case for clear negligent entrust meant. Rusty may be the best but I don't think he'll prevail here. Facts and the law are clear here.


Vindicated?!!! Are you kidding me? He needs to be stripped by TEA of his freaking license. If he gets off and Hisd prevails in keeping this masochist, TEA won't let him get away with it. I've worked for him and he doesn't even follow several strands of Texas State Law. He didn't expect this to be discovered because of his bravado. But he's not in another state and Harris DA won't put up with his BS. Why do you think she authorized an open arrest on campus. He terrorizes teachers and breaks laws left and right. I've seen it. I've been there.


So let the games begin...


Rosales-Motola = Sandusky. Gasparello = Paterno. Hardin = Defense lawyer doing what defense lawyers do.

Mr. Hardin says that Gasparello took "swift action" yet the first assault took place last May and the second this October - and the teacher was still on campus in November.

Mr. Hardin says that his client followed "the letter of the law" even though Mr. Gasparello did not contact the police directly, per his legal duty as building principal. 

Mr. Hardin also states that Mr. Gasparello reported the incident to his superiors within 72 hours, expecting them to contact law enforcement. Wow. A mini-Penn State right here in HISD.

This article states, "Rusty Hardin has come out with a statement claiming that Gasparello actually did handle things according to the law." It should state that, "Mr. Hardin has manufactured his own version of events in order to save his client's behind." 

Being a retired teacher, I must say that I am hoping Mr. Gasparello is vindicated. It's a tough job. Aside from the incidents in question, he seems like a stand-up guy. And Mr. Hardin's skill as a lawyer is unquestioned. Still, I resent that sly grin on his face when he knows he's selling a load of garbage to a gullible public.

May truth prevail.


@longlegssnow :

I read your posts. Now please read my last sentence: "May truth prevail."

If the investigation finds this principal innocent, then, yes, I hope he is vindicated. If the investigation finds him guilty, then he deserves an appropriate sentence. I think we're on the same side here. As much as you might like it, however, you do not get to play judge, jury, and executioner. From the looks of it so far, it appears the cover-up goes way beyond the building principal. Time will tell.

I am interested, however, in your professional association with this principal. If he was breaking laws left and right, as you say, then why didn't YOU report him? You might have saved these students from some unpleasant experiences.

As for your belief about TEA not letting people get away with stuff, I respectfully disagree. I taught in HISD for nearly 30 years. In my opinion, TEA cannot get a handle on the rampant cheating on standardized tests or stop unscrupulous entrepreneurs from creating charter schools to use as their personal piggybanks. TEA simply doesn't have the manpower or the will to get the job done. I doubt if TEA has the time or inclination to get involved in more HISD mess.

As I stated in my initial post, may truth prevail.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everybody. We still have plenty for which to be grateful.


@tjiocca Some lawyers go past their prime and ride on their legacy.  Can't remember the name of the lawyer who handled Anna Nicole Smith's farce in Houston years ago, but he was a "name" reduced to representing an airhead. Hardin may well be phoning this one in...

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