Authorities in Wimauma, Florida, say that a teacher’s aide was arrested Wednesday for allegedly sexually molesting a 13-year-old female student. ABC Action News reports that while Sonny Juarez was employed at the RCMA Wimauma Academy, a charter school located on U.S. Highway 301, between November of 2016 and March of 2017, he would occasionally meet with a student in the back of the classroom.
Officials say that the 29-year-old would make sexual contact with himself before sexually molesting the student, whose identity has not been released. Five months after the alleged sexual molestation occurred, Juarez got a promotion. He became a teacher, but two months later, he was placed on an investigative leave after school officials learned of the suspected incident.
It was not immediately made clear if the victim reported the incident to school officials, who later alerted police, or if there was an eyewitness.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation, which led to Juarez’s arrest. The Wimauma teacher’s aide is facing charges of lewd or lascivious molestation.
Deputies did not disclose if the victim was a student at RCMA Wimauma Academy or her connection to the teacher’s aide.
Juarez’s neighbors were outraged after learning that he allegedly molested a girl while working at the RCMA Wimauma Academy, which serves students from kindergarten through grade five.
One man, who asked to remain anonymous, said that he knew Juarez. He claims that the teacher’s aide is not capable of molesting a child.
Another man, who is a father and grandfather of a student attending the RCMA Wimauma Academy, stated that the incident is not right. He went on to say that if parents send their children to a learning facility, they expect them to be safe.
The teacher’s aide has since been terminated from his position after school officials learned of his arrest, according to WPTV. School administrators say that Juarez has been prohibited from having any contact with the students since he was placed on investigative leave, according to the RCMA Wimauma Academy’s statement.
Juarez was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail, but he was later released after posting a $15,000 bond.
Deputies believe that there could be more victims involved. If anyone has more information regarding the sexual molestation allegations, officials ask that you contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at 813-247-8200.
[Featured Image by Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office]