crimes

Highland Middle School teacher Daniel Decker accused of inappropriately touching 5 students

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Daniel Decker, 39, started working for Highland Middle School in Hobbs, Lea County, New Mexico, United States as a social studies teacher in 2019. He was also a coach in the school.

On March 11, 2022, one female student reported to Highland Middle School staff that she was inappropriately touched by Decker. The school immediately placed him on leave and shortly after, he resigned.

Since then, four other female students came forward with similar complaints. According to the alleged victims, Decker hugged or touched them inappropriately at various times in 2021 either while they were in school or while they were attending after-school athletic events.

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Upon receiving the first complaint against Decker, the Highland Middle School staff contacted the Hobbs Police Department. When police contacted the teacher, he agreed to a voluntary interview with investigators.

On April 20, 2022, Decked was arrested and charged with five counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor. On April 21, 2021, he was held at the Lea County Detention Center in Lovington, Lea County pending arraignment.

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Born in 1852, James Isaac Hobbs founded Hobbs in 1907 and served as the first postmaster of the city’s post office, which opened in 1910. He died in 1923.

The late National Basketball Association player William “Bill” Bridges, former National Football League running back Timothy “Timmy” Smith, 58, and NFL quarterback Daniel “Colt” McCoy, 35, were born in Hobbs. Sam Cobb is the incumbent mayor of the city.

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