Houston Chronicle

Jan. 24, 2003, 2:33PM

Female church school employee pleads guilty to having sex with boy

The Associated Press
Houston Chronicle

A 27-year-old female supervisor at a suburban church school pleaded guilty Friday to having sex with a 13-year-old student.

Lisa Zuniga, who is pregnant as a result of the affair and expected to give birth next month, entered her plea on the aggravated sexual assault of a child charge before visiting State District Judge Charles Hearn.

Her sentencing has been set for March 21. She could receive anywhere from five years probation to life in prison.

Prosecutor Denise Oncken said the state is not recommending any particular punishment, the Houston Chronicle reported in its online edition Friday.

Free on $30,000 bond, Zuniga left the courthouse with her mother without commenting. She did not speak in court except to answer "guilty" and respond "yes" or "no" to Hearn's questions about the plea.

Oncken said the unidentified student is now 15 and living in Oklahoma with his mother and stepfather.

Zuniga's attorney, Arthur Parras, however, said he had heard the teen had returned to the Houston area.

Oncken said she will "probably not" request DNA or blood tests to determine whether the teen is the father of Zuniga's unborn child. She said Zuniga has admitted to the sexual relationship.

Parras said he does not intend to request such tests either.

Zuniga worked at the Victory Academy, which is a church and a private school in Pasadena. The teen attended classes at the academy.

Zuniga lived on the school grounds, in an apartment where police believe she and the boy had sex.

© 2003 The Associated Press

Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle