Teacher, coach accused of molesting teen

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A teacher and coach faces criminal charges after deputies say he molested a teenager in a Wimauma classroom.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Sonny Juarez was a middle school teacher at Redlands Christian Migrant Association's Leadership Academy. 

Before that, he was a teacher's aide and soccer coach at the RCMA Wimauma Academy, a charter school on U.S. 301, between November of 2016 and March of 2017. 

During those five months, deputies say Juarez repeatedly took a 13-year-old student to the back of the classroom and sexually assaulted her. 

Redland’s Christian Migrant Association, the organization that runs the school, says Juarez was placed on investigative leave on October 1 and has not had contact with any students.

After he was arrested, Juarez, 29, was fired. He faces charges of lewd or lascivious molestation with a child. 

Now, detectives want to know if there are any other possible victims. They ask anyone with more information to contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at 813-247-8200.

The school later issued the following statement: 

A teacher at RCMA’s Leadership Academy was arrested today and immediately terminated due to charges involving a former student.  The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation and arrested the employee.

Sonny Juarez, 29, had been placed on investigative leave by RCMA on Oct. 1, 2017 and has had no contact with students. Juarez had been a teacher at the middle school since Aug. 1st, 2017.

The safety of students is RCMA’s top priority.  RCMA is cooperating with investigators.  Anyone with information that could assist the investigation is encouraged to contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at (813) 247-8200.

The nonprofit RCMA operates child-care centers and charter schools for low-income rural families in 21 Florida counties. Leadership Academy is a charter middle school serving 106 children in the Wimauma area.