Amber Parker’s online messages had a sinister purpose.
As Fox 44 News reports, the 37-year-old from Freestone County, Texas was a language arts and reading teacher at Mexia Junior High. But while she was teaching middle school kids, Parker was also in communication with a group of men in Morocco, arranging to sell an underage relative for sex.
According to KWTX News, Parker contacted the men via Facebook message and sent a photo of her young relative in lingerie. The police affidavit discusses how Parker and the men discussed traveling to meet up for the purpose of sex:
“During the conversation, the males are trying to have both Parker and the victim travel to Casablanca, Morocco to engage in sexual acts, after Parker indicates to the men that the victim is a virgin, and provides her age.”
The affidavit goes on to say that the victim described how Parker continued taking photos of her during the conversation, “telling her the positions to be in, what to expose, and how to take the photographs to keep the male interested in her.”
At one point, Parker allegedly told the men that, “She [the victim] wants to peel your uniform off of you, cuff you, and lick your abs.”
Authorities got involved when the girl’s family became aware of Parker’s efforts to take the girl to Morocco and contacted local law enforcement. McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara told the Waco Tribune:
“Family members got wind that Parker was going to try to lure this girl to Morocco. It is a dastardly story, and it is trafficking at its worst.”
The investigation was a joint effort of the Freestone County and McLennan County Sheriff’s Office. Parker — who traveled to Morocco alone on December 26 — was arrested on her return and charged with Trafficking of Persons.
The victim is in the care of her father, who came from out-of-state to pick her up while Parker was in Morocco.
Parker — who is married — appears to have gone to Morocco to conduct an affair. In a video obtained by KWTX, a man named Youssef Derkhi claims that she went to Morocco for love and to meet him, not for trafficking.
Parker’s husband suggested to authorities that her online activities may be related to her recent discovery of Wicca. According to KWTX, an investigative document stated:
“Mr. Parker explained that at some point during the year his wife had created an anonymous Facebook page to where she could secretly communicate with strange men associated with the Wicca organization. During the year his wife had left to go to Louisiana to meet with her healer and again to Waco to meet with someone in her group.”
Authorities do not know whether Parker’s involvement in Wicca has any bearing on the trafficking case, but have not yet ruled it out.
Locals are stunned that human trafficking would come to Freestone County, Texas … and that a teacher could be involved. One resident told Fox 44:
“It’s been going on in our town and we didn’t know. I went to this school, my little brother goes to this school so it’s real horrific. I didn’t anything like that would come out of here and be that crazy you know?”
Parker was suspended from her teaching position after the trafficking allegations became known. She has since resigned. In a statement, District Superintendent Lyle DeBus told the Tribune:
“Student safety is Mexia ISD’s number one priority. We take these allegations seriously and we will be working closely with our partners in law enforcement. The district continues to monitor the situation and feels no students at Mexia Junior High were ever at risk.”
Authorities warn that the case is an example of why it’s important for parents to be aware of what is going on with their children. McNamara told KWTX:
“It’s a very low-down thing, it’s the worst of the worst when you prostitute your own relative, that’s as low as you get. It’s sickening to think a woman would stoop that low.”
Parker’s bond was originally set at $25,000 but has been increased to $250,000. If convicted she faces a minimum of 25 years and possibly life in prison.