Category: Schools

Leslie Wolfe Horowitz Law

Tamarac School Teacher Leslie Wolfe Arrested, Admits to Sexual Abuse of Student

On Friday, November 12, 2021, Plantation police arrested Leslie Wolfe, a sixth-grade teacher at Bethlehem Junior Academy in Tamarac, for allegedly sexually molesting a 12-year-old female student while tutoring her at West Broward Regional Library in Plantation, Florida. Wolfe, age 63, was charged with lewd and lascivious molestation on a victim 12-16 years old by an offender 18 years old or older, and lewd and lascivious conduct by a person 18 years old or older.

According to media reports, Wolfe was taken into police custody after the victim told her mother that she met Wolfe in a study room at the library for a private tutoring session. During their meeting, the girl claims that Wolfe sexually abused her. The mother then called the teacher about the allegations and Wolfe stated that it was the devil that made him do it and apologized profusely. Wolfe also told the alleged victim’s mother that he contacted his church and was going to attempt to get help in reference to the devil making him perform these acts.

The arrest affidavit states that the victim was not a student at Bethlehem. Wolfe has been a private math and chemistry tutor for decades and he has tutored countless children over the years at various South Florida locations. Police are concerned there are more victims. Wolfe was held on a $150,000 bond at the Broward County Main Jail.

When contacted for a statement, a representative at Bethlehem Junior Academy had no comment about the disturbing allegations.

Leslie Wolfe is just one of several South Florida teachers to face charges this year for having inappropriate actions with a student. This is every parent’s worst nightmare. Schools should always be a place where parents can trust that their children will be cared for and protected from harm.

Horowitz Law has substantial experience representing victims of sexual abuse in the school system. If you have been a victim of sexual misconduct by Leslie Wolfe or have any knowledge about such events at Bethlehem Junior Academy or West Broward Regional Library, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or e-mail sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz today.

Jossie Calderon Horowitz Law

Miami Lakes Teacher Jossie Calderon Arrested For Sexual Misconduct With Two Students

Jossie Calderon, a math teacher at Barbara Goleman Senior High School in Miami Lakes, was arrested on Friday, November 12, 2021, for alleged sexual misconduct with  two female students. Calderon, age 27, was charged on two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child between 12-16 years old, two counts of offenses against students by authority figures, two counts of child abuse without great bodily harm, and one count of battery.

According to media reports, Calderon was taken into police custody after multiple claims were recently made against him. On November 1, 2021, a 15-year-old female student told the school’s guidance counselor that Calderon rubbed her on the lower back and buttocks during a chess club meeting. The student also claims this was the second time Calderon touched her inappropriately. According to the arrest report, the first time was in September 2021, when the South Florida teacher felt up the student’s legs and touched her thighs. She told the counselor that he left his hand there for an extended period, which made her feel uncomfortable. The police report also states that Calderon touched the victim’s “buttocks over her clothes, caressing her.” A video was obtained from the school that confirmed the student’s allegations.  “It was not a tap, instead, the offender placed his hand on the victim’s legs and left his hand there for several moments,” stated the first student.

On November 5, a second student reported to the school’s resource officer that she was molested by Calderon during a math tutoring class. The 16-year-old victim claims that Calderon also touched her on two separate occasions while she was in Calderon’s class seeking extra credit for math class.

The second victim states, “He approached me from the rear and introduced his right hand under my sweater by the neck area.” She also said that Calderon “softly rubbed her back.”

According to the arrest report, both victims are seeking counseling for trauma they endured. Calderon was released after posting $21,500 bail. A court date has not been set yet.

Jossie Calderon is just one of several South Florida teachers to face charges this year for having inappropriate actions with a student. This is every parent’s worst nightmare. Schools should always be a place where parents can trust that their children will be cared for and protected from harm.

Attorney Adam Horowitz has substantial experience representing victims of sexual abuse in the school system. If you have been a victim of sexual misconduct by Jossie Calderon or have any knowledge about such events at Barbara Goleman Senior High School, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or e-mail sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz today.

Aaron Hamid Horowitz Law

Miami High School Teacher Aaron Hamid Surrenders After Charged With Having Sex With Student

Aaron Aziz Hamid, a teacher at John A. Ferguson Senior High School in Miami, surrendered to Miami-Dade Police on Monday, November 8, 2021, after being arrested for sexual abuse of a 16-year-old student. Hamid, age 27, was taken into custody, and then charged with three felony counts, including offenses against students by authority figures and unlawful sexual activity with a specified minor.

According to media reports, an investigation began in October 2021, after Hamid was accused of inappropriate behavior with a student. At the start of the Covid pandemic, the then 16-year-old alleged victim was a junior in Hamid’s advanced placement history class, which she attended via Zoom.

According to police reports, Hamid and his student began communicating using the Remind App Communication platform and exchanged phone numbers. The student told police that Hamid would often pick her up and that sexual activity took place in his car or at his Cutler Bay home while he was still her teacher. The report stated that the student’s best friend notified a school staff member in October that an inappropriate relationship was going on and the police were then contacted. 

The alleged victim stated that the defendant contacted her the morning that the alleged incident was reported, and she deleted content that could be incriminating information from her phone. The arrest report also states that the sexual contact between Hamid and his student lasted approximately one year. 

Although Hamid was not arrested until he surrendered on November 8, he was placed on an alternate assignment while the allegation was investigated. District officials say he has now been fired. Miami-Dade County Public Schools released the following statement regarding the arrest: “An allegation of this nature against any one of our employees is disheartening and illicit behavior will not be tolerated. Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) will continue to remind employees of their professional, moral and ethical duties and responsibilities. As a result of this arrest, this individual’s employment with M-DCPS will be terminated immediately and he will be prevented from seeking future work with the District.”

Hamid is just one of several South Florida teachers to face charges this year for having inappropriate actions with a student. This is every parent’s worst nightmare. Schools should always be a place where parents can trust that their children will be cared for and protected from harm.

Attorney Adam Horowitz has substantial experience representing victims of sexual abuse in the school system. If you have been a victim of sexual misconduct by Aaron Hamid or have any knowledge about such events at John A. Ferguson Senior High School, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or e-mail sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz today.

Heiry Calvi Horowitz Law

Pregnant Doral Teacher Heiry Calvi Arrested for Having Sex With Underage Student

Heiry Calvi, a 41-year-old teacher at John I. Smith K-8 Center in Doral, Florida was arrested on October 8, 2021, after facing accusations of having unlawful sexual contact with a 15-year-old male student.

According to police records, Doral police began their investigation back in March 2021, when they received a complaint from the Department of Children and Families that a teacher was having intercourse with an underage student who attended John I. Smith K-8 Center, located at 10415 NW 52nd St, Doral, FL 33178.

Multiple students had reported to faculty members that the boy was showing off videos of himself and Calvi having sex. The school reported it to the appropriate authorities and Doral Police got permission to search the 15-year-old’s cellphone. The report states that detectives found photos of the teen naked with Calvi, along with text messages between the two, expressing their love for each other. The student and teacher first became close when Calvi began tutoring him at his house in late 2020.

“There were photographs that were certainly inappropriate, that indicate that there was in fact an inappropriate relationship,” said Doral Police spokesperson Rey Valdes. Miami-Dade County Public Schools officials said she was removed from the classroom and put her on administrative duties where she had no contact with students immediately after the school learned about the allegations in March, but wasn’t arrested until now.  It has been confirmed that the married teacher is in fact pregnant, but no published reports at this time on the identity of the father. Calvi declined to comment on the allegations.

Calvi was charged with two felony charges including lewd and lascivious battery and electronic transmission harmful to minors. She was also in possession of a firearm on school property. She was released on bond.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools released the following statement regarding the arrest:
“Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) is disturbed by today’s arrest involving inappropriate employee behavior. When the District was apprised of these allegations in March, the employee was immediately reassigned to a non-school site location. The District will begin employment termination proceedings and will ensure the individual is prevented from seeking future employment with this school system. M-DCPS will continue to review its employee training to ensure that our workforce is fully aware of the District’s professional expectations of them and their ethical obligation to safeguard children.”

Calvi is the third South Florida teacher to face charges this week for having inappropriate actions with a student. This is every parent’s worst nightmare. Schools should always be a place where parents can trust that their children will be cared for and protected from harm.

Attorney Adam Horowitz has substantial experience representing victims of sexual abuse in the school system. If you have been a victim of sexual misconduct by Heiry Calvi or have any knowledge about such events at John I. Smith K-8 Center, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or e-mail sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz today.

Taylor Anderson Horowitz Law

Manatee County Teacher, Taylor Anderson, Arrested For Having Sex With Male Student

Taylor Anderson, an English teacher at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, surrendered herself to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office on September 20, 2021, five days after a warrant was issued for her arrest.  Anderson has been an employee at the prestigious IMG Academy, a preparatory boarding school and sports training facility located at 5650 Bollettieri Blvd., Bradenton, FL 34210, since January 2021. 

According to media reports, Anderson was accused of having sex with a male boarding school student after school staff members notified the police of possible sexual encounters between Anderson and a 17-year-old student. Although the 38-year-old teacher refused to talk with detectives at the time, investigators found enough evidence to support the allegations after searching her residence, car, and cell phone. The student admitted to having sex with Ms. Anderson when confronted by the school administration. A subsequent investigation revealed that Anderson was communicating directly with the student via social media and text messages over several weeks.

According to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, in July 2021, Anderson allegedly picked up a male IMG Academy student from his apartment and engaged in sexual acts while inside her vehicle while parked at the beach. On the victim’s phone, detectives found two Facetime videos from July 24 and Aug. 24. In the first, the victim and teacher can both be seen masturbating and Anderson is wearing an IMG Academy shirt before exposing her breasts. In the second video, Anderson is seen masturbating on her bed while the male student watches.  The student eventually stopped speaking with Anderson, telling detectives it “became weird when she wanted (redacted) to watch and look up videos depicting scenes in which younger (redacted) have sexual relations with older females and Taylor wanted (redacted) to live (redacted) fantasy,” according to the affidavit.

On September 14, 2021, IMG staff contacted the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office’s Crimes Against Children Unit to report the allegations about her unlawful behavior with an underage student. Detectives tried to arrest her at her home in Manatee County, but she was not there.

Anderson’s employment at IMG was terminated on September 15, 2021, and she surrendered herself five days later after admitting to the sexual abuse. She was charged with sexual battery by custodial authority, traveling to meet a minor, and transmission of harmful material to a minor. 

 

In 2016, Anderson was nominated for Teacher of the Year in Missouri and she is reportedly working on her second master’s degree.  IMG Academy released a press release stating, “We terminated Ms. Anderson’s employment the following day,” the statement continued. “Given there is an active law enforcement investigation, we are unable to share additional details at this time. Our focus is now on providing support for our student and his family.”

Schools are educational institutions in which children can learn and develop skills in a nurturing environment. It is expected that they are safe from violence, bullying, harassment, and sexual abuse.  Teachers are entrusted to facilitate learning and support the educational needs of their students. Someone who sexually violates young children has no place working in the school system. Any school in which such a crime is committed must take responsibility for failing to properly screen potential teachers and protect their students. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse in schools and other educational settings. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped, or sexually molested by a principal, teacher, or other school employees, contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

 

Dominic Alganon Johnson Horowitz Law

Miami Gardens School Coach and Security Guard Arrested For Allegedly Raping Teen

Dominic Johnson, age 36, was arrested September 20, 2021, on a charge of sexual battery of a minor.  Johnson has been employed as a security monitor and assistant football coach at Miami Carol City Senior High School, located at 3301 Miami Gardens Drive, Miami Gardens, FL 33056.  Dominic Johnson worked for Miami-Dade Schools for the past 11 years.

According to media reports, the victim was his 16-year-old goddaughter. The arrest reported stated that Dominic Johnson texted the girl on Sunday and told her that he had a gift for her at his home.  Miami-Dade Police said the teen said she went to Dominic Johnson’s house and asked if she could use the bathroom. She told the police that Johnson came inside while she was washing her hands and began to rub her buttocks over her clothing with his hands. According to the arrest report,  Dominic Johnson placed his hands inside his pants and began to move in a back and forth motion. The report states that Johnson told the teen he was going to get a condom, but the victim told him “no,” and tried to walk out. She claims Johnson told her to be quiet, went to get the condom, and raped her.

Although the law enforcement report that Johnson denied the accusations, he was arrested and held at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center with a $25,000 bond.

A statement was released by the school stating, “Miami-Dade County Public Schools is deeply disturbed to learn about the circumstances that led to this individual’s arrest,” the school district said in a statement Tuesday. “The allegations are reprehensible and unsettling and will not be taken lightly. As such, the District has initiated employment termination proceedings and will ensure that the individual is precluded from seeking future employment with this school system.”

According to a spokeswoman for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Johnson has been employed by the District for 11 years. Dominic Johnson was previously arrested on felony charges for aggravated assault in 2008.

It is expected that any institutions in which children learn and develop skills offer an environment in which they are safe from violence, bullying, harassment, and sexual abuse. Athletic coaches are entrusted to facilitate learning and support the educational and training needs of their players. Anyone who sexually violates children has no place working in community or school athletic programs. Any organization in which such a crime is committed must take responsibility for failing to properly screen potential coaches and protect their players. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing survivors of sexual abuse. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, assaulted, raped, or molested by a coach, principal, teacher, or other school employees, contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

Andre Ricardo Williams Horowitz Law

St. Cloud Prep School Dean Fired and Arrested For Having Sex With Student

Andre Ricardo Williams, a 32-year old Dean at St. Cloud Preparatory Academy, was arrested and charged on September 14, 2021, with soliciting and engaging in lewd contact with an 18-year-old student as an authority figure. St. Cloud Prep is a K-12 private school located at 3101 Progress Lane, St, Cloud, FL 34772.

According to media reports, Williams admitted to St. Cloud Police to having sex with the teen more than once over the last two weeks and that he also texted explicit photos of his own genitals to the student. The Academy released a statement on its Facebook page stating that Williams has been terminated from St. Cloud Preparatory Academy.  The school also removed Andre Ricardo Williams from its website.

John D’Amico, the school’s executive director, stated, “There has been an incident at the school involving our dean who has been arrested for solicitation of sexual engagement with a student. This student has been identified, and the parents have been notified and made aware of the situation. We take the health and safety of our students very seriously, and we will continue to ensure that we take all appropriate measures to protect our students. The employee is no longer employed with SCPA. While this is still considered a current investigation and I’m unable to share any future details, please feel free to reach out to me if you have any further concerns.”

Andre Ricardo Williams is being held on a $5,000 bond in the Osceola County Jail and the investigation is ongoing.

Schools are educational institutions in which children can learn and develop skills in a nurturing environment. It is expected that they are safe from violence, bullying, harassment, and sexual abuse.  Teachers are entrusted to facilitate learning and support the educational needs of their students. Someone who sexually violates young children has no place working in the school system. Any school in which such a crime is committed must take responsibility for failing to properly screen potential teachers and protect their students. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse in schools and other educational settings. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped, or sexually molested by a principal, teacher, or other school employees, contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

 

FLORIDA SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST DR. CLINTON SIMS FACING SEX ABUSE CLAIM

Dr. Clinton Sims Has License Restricted By Department of Health

Clinton SimsOn May 5, 2021, the Florida Department of Health ordered the emergency restriction of the license of Clermont school psychologist, Dr. Clinton Eugene Sims. The order restricts Sims from working as a school psychologist in the State of Florida. It alleges that he had sex with a patient who was a former student he counseled at Montverde Academy. Sims received his license to practice as a school psychologist in September 2004. He has a right to appeal the emergency order, which prohibits him from practicing with female clients.

According to the order, Sims started counseling the 15-year old girl in February 2016 when she was a student at Montverde Academy. Despite later transferring from the school, the girl continued treatment with Sims in his private office through 2020. In 2019, Sims allegedly told her that he thought she was attractive, and sent her multiple sexually explicit messages. The state alleges that Sims had sex with her in December 2020 and January 2021.  

Florida law allows the state surgeon general to restrict a health care provider’s license upon a finding that the person poses an immediate danger to public health, safety, or welfare.  The order said, “Dr. Sims’ actions and disregard for the health of Patient show that he does not have the judgment or moral character to hold a position of power and trust. Dr. Sims’ blatant disregard for the laws and rules regulating his profession indicates that this behavior is likely to continue.”   The state’s disciplinary action to restrict Sims’ license limits his opportunity to endanger the public’s health, welfare and safety.

Finding the right mental health care provider can be challenging. We seek out seasoned medical professionals who possess a good bedside manner, compassion and empathy.  When we do finally decide on one, we hope to feel better over time, not be violated by the very person with whom we place our trust. Doctors hold a position of power in the physician-patient relationship under Florida law.  It is both unacceptable and unlawful for a healthcare professional to touch a patient in any sexual manner or practice any sexual misconduct while treating the patient.

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against medical professionals on behalf of patients who were inappropriately touched in their care.  Under no circumstances is a doctor or nurse permitted to have sexual contact with a patient.  If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery at a medical office or facility, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

Gari Tookes Horowitz Law

FAMU Professor Gari Tookes Arrested On Three Counts of Child Molestation

According to a Leon County Sheriff’s Office press releaseon April 29, 2021, Professor Gari Tookes was arrested on three counts of child molestation charges (sexual battery, lewd and lascivious battery, and lewd and lascivious molestation) in Tallahassee, Florida.  

Gari Tookes, age 36, a prominent professor at Florida A&M University and Social Worker, was charged with sexually abusing a minor.  Investigators say the abuse began when the child was in elementary school and continue until the boy was a teenager. 

Media reports indicate that on February 23, 2021, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office received information from the Florida Department of Children and Families stating that they received a report through the state hotline detailing the sexual abuse and battery of a minor allegedly made by Gari Tookes. The Sheriff’s Office stated, “Through investigative means, LCSO Violent Crimes detectives learned Tookes had criminal sexual contact with the victim for several years before the report. Detectives also learned Tookes had communicated through text messages about the sexual contact with the victim, which corroborated the victim’s initial report.”

The victim told investigators that Tookes touched him inappropriately and that the abuse “literally happened all the time.” Tookes was arrested and transported to the Leon County Detention Facility. 

Tookes has been an assistant professor at the Florida A&M University’s College of Social Sciences and a research grantee at FAMU’s Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative. In a March 2020 announcement from the university, he was listed as the school’s Master of Social Work program director. The university originally hired him in August 2018. His relationship with the university is under review.

According to Florida Department of Health records, Tookes is also a clinical social worker, with a license issued in 2016 and valid through 2023. 

Schools are educational institutions in which children can learn and develop skills in a nurturing environment. It is expected that they are safe from violence, bullying, harassment, and sexual abuse.  Teachers are entrusted to facilitate learning and support the educational needs of their students. Someone who sexually violates young children has no place working in the school system. Any school in which such a crime is committed must take responsibility for failing to properly screen potential teachers and protect their students. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse in schools and other educational settings. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped, or sexually molested by a principal, teacher or another school employee, contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

 

Yosef Benita Horowitz Law

Miami Rabbi Yosef Benita Arrested for Sexual Misconduct, Charges Later Dropped

On Wednesday, April 28, a Miami Gardens Rabbi and Jewish day school teacher was arrested on four counts of child molestation charges.  Yosef Benita, age 37, is a teacher at Lubavitch Educational Center, located at 7330 NW 7th Ave, Miami, FL 33169. 

Yosef Benita voluntarily surrendered to the Miami Gardens Police Department and is being held without bond at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center for allegedly inappropriately touching a 10-year-old student during a tutoring session. The boy told his father on March 14 that his teacher intentionally touched him in his private area on three occasions and that Benita touched his own penis over his clothes. The alleged victim asked Benita to stop, but he continued, according to Miami-Dade police. The police also say that since the investigation started, a second alleged victim came forward.

School officials released a statement Wednesday night that reads, in part, “We take any claim of inappropriate behavior very seriously, which is why we immediately reported to the appropriate authorities.”

UPDATE: On July 27, 2021, it was reported that the criminal charges against Rabbi Yosef Benita were dropped based on a recording of a Zoom call between Lubavitch Educational Center and the child, where according to prosecutors, the child said that the rabbi tickled him, but did not touch his private parts. Faculty at the school also spoke to another child alleged to be a victim, who said, according to a close out memo from the State Attorney’s office, “…the defendant had touched him once as he was leaving the room and was not sure if the touching was an accident as it happened in passing.”

Schools are educational institutions in which children can learn and develop skills in a nurturing environment. It is expected that they are safe from violence, bullying, harassment, and sexual abuse.  Teachers are entrusted to facilitate learning and support the educational needs of their students. Someone who sexually violates young children has no place tutoring or otherwise working in the school system. Any school in which such a crime is committed must take responsibility for protect its students. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse in schools and other educational settings. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped, or sexually molested by a principal, teacher, or another school employee, contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.