State Police arrest ex-AHS teacher who admitted sexual contact with students

John R. Moses
Farmington Daily Times
James Dee Coulter

FARMINGTON — New Mexico State Police investigators today arrested a former Aztec High School teacher who then admitted to several unlawful sexual relationships with female high school students.

Police obtained an arrest warrant for James Dee Coulter, 31, of Aztec, and arrested him this morning where he works at an industrial equipment supply company in Farmington.

“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 seventeen years old,” state police said in a release. “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.”

The investigation began as a state licensure investigation, turning up evidence of an illegal sexual relationship with a student. The state police were contacted in June by the New Mexico Public Education Department with evidence and statements indicating that the high school math and philosophy teacher had engaged in illegal activity.

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The police investigation today turned up more than one relationship.

Coulter admitted after his arrest to “having several more unlawful sexual relationships with other female high school students,” the police press release stated. “The New Mexico State Police will further investigate these additional crimes and work to identify any other victims in this case.”

Coulter is currently charged with four counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor and is in custody at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center.  

His license to teach was revoked by the state on Aug. 9.

Aztec Municipal School District Superintendent Kirk Carpenter, reached by phone, said Friday the district had no statement on the arrest at that time.

John R. Moses is the editor of the Farmington Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4624 or via email at