Tag: Pembroke Pines sexual abuse

Philip Gerald Velez Horowitz Law

Pembroke Pines Teacher Philip Velez Arrested, Admits to Sex with Student

On Sunday, January 9, 2022, Hollywood police arrested Philip Velez, a culinary arts teacher and basketball coach at Charles W. Flanagan High School in Pembroke Pines, for allegedly having a sexual contact with a 17-year-old female student at his school. Velez, age 28, was arrested on charges of sexual assault on a minor and soliciting sexual conduct with a student while being an authority figure.

According to media reports, Philip Velez confessed to having a sex with the victim that began in December 2021. Velez admitted to Hollywood police that the two had sex multiple times and considered her his girlfriend. He also admitted that he knew it was wrong for them to be together because of the victim’s age, but they still were together because she was “almost” 18.

Velez was taken into police custody after Hollywood police were notified on Saturday by the victim’s father, who was told by his eldest daughter that the teen had been acting suspiciously over the last few weeks and that her cellphone locator showed her at an apartment complex in Hollywood. According to the arrest report, police went to the apartment unit the next day and made contact with Velez. Upon arrival, Velez admitted the teen was there at that moment and that they were in the middle of sexual intercourse when police knocked on the door.

The two were taken in for questioning and in a taped statement, the student claims that she met Velez after a school fundraiser in November and began texting back and forth before being together. She states that things got intimate a few weeks later, and she went to his Hollywood apartment several times in December, where they had sex. Velez was arrested and taken into custody.

On Monday, Velez appeared in court and the judge granted Velez an $85,000 bond. His attorney had asked for a reduced bond, arguing that the teen is less than 60 days away from being a consenting adult and that his family supports him in the matter. If Velez posts bond, he must surrender his passport and have no contact with the student or any other minor who is not a family member. He is also not permitted to return to the high school campus during the period of his release.

 A spokesperson from Broward County Public Schools confirmed that Velez has worked at Flanagan High School since July 25, 2019. They also released a statement saying, “He is currently active and there’s no additional information on his status at this time.”

Philip Velez 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 Philip Velez or have any knowledge about such events at Charles W. Flanagan High School, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or e-mail sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz today.

Robert Franco Horowitz Law

Pembroke Pines Taekwondo Instructor Robert Franco Arrested For Hidden Cameras in Bathroom

On Friday, August 6, 2021, Robert Franco, a martial arts instructor in Pembroke Pines, surrendered himself to the Broward County Jail after a warrant was issued for his arrest. According to Pembroke Pines police, Robert Franco, ago 64, allegedly placed hidden cameras in the restroom of his academy, Master Franco’s Taekwondo Academy, located at 11090 Pines Boulevard.

Investigators reported that on July 29th, 2021, a 17-year-old female student of Franco’s noticed two hidden cameras inside of picture frames on a shelf in the bathroom of his Taekwondo academy. The student took pictures of the hidden cameras and then confronted Robert Franco, who then destroyed the picture frames and hidden cameras. The student then called her father and told him what happened. He quickly came to the academy and called 911.

Authorities arrived within the hour and began their investigation against Franco, searching through a seized phone and computer. Police said the content they have obtained thus far included video of children and adults. Authorities believe the cameras had been in the restroom since March when Franco took over the academy. 

According to the Local 10 News report, Franco gave an explanation for having the cameras, but police said that explanation was not reasonable. The Pembroke Pines police ask anyone who attended or visited, or whose children attended or visited, Master Franco’s Taekwondo Academy and used the restroom to come forward.

“The cameras were certainly positioned in such a fashion that not only was the level of trust violated but so too was their level of privacy,” said Adam Feiner with the Pembroke Pines Police Department. He also added that the police department fully anticipates more victims to come forward and need the communities to help to do so.”

Franco is facing multiple charges of video voyeurism and was charged with tampering or fabricating physical evidence. Franco’s bond was set at $20,000.

Our attorneys are experienced in representing victims of child sexual abuse in civil lawsuits. If you or someone you know was a victim of child sexual abuse, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to sexual abuse attorney Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com.

Luis Clarke Horowitz Law

Pembroke Pines Youth Pastor Luis Clarke Arrested for Abusing Minor

Luis Clarke, a 38 year-old Youth Pastor at Abrazo tu Sueno Church in Pembroke Pines, coerced a young girl into having sex with him by threatening to turn her family into immigration authorities, according to law enforcement.  Clarke was a part-time Youth Pastor at Abrazo tu Sueno Church, 9626 Pines Boulevard, and police are concerned he may have sexually victimized other minors.

According to the police report, Clarkle molested the girl for a period of months beginning when she was 15 years old in August 2016 until February 2017 when she was 16.  The sexual abuse took place at Clarke’s Pembroke Pines home in the 1300 block of Northwest 143rd Ave., police said.  The youth pastor would pick up the girl from school, she and make her undress and then rape and molest her and take photos of her with his iPad.  Clarke has been charged with 20 counts of sexual battery on a victim between 12 and 18, two counts of false imprisonment, two counts of directing a sexual performance by a child and one count of lewd and lascivious exhibition by an adult on a child under 15.

One time, Clarke picked up the girl and a teenage boy at a Hollywood park, took them to his residence where he activated his home alarm so that they couldn’t leave without triggering it and forced the boy to watch Clarke have sex with the girl, according to the arrest report.  t was the boy who went to police on April 3 to report Clarke.  Once in custody, Clarke gave a sworn statement and admitted to two sexual encounters with the girl. He told police the boy had been to his home but he denied having sex with the girl in front of him, the detective’s report said.

Attorney Adam Horowitz represents children and adults who were victims of sexual abuse by a priest, minister, rabbi, deacon, nuns, or other clergy in civil lawsuits. If you or someone you know was a victim of sexual abuse or sexual assault at a church or other religious organization, please contact our law firm at (954) 641-2100 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com