A 20-year veteran teacher at Hialeah High School, just outside of Miami, has been arrested for sexually abusing underage students for more than a decade.
Jeanette Valle-Tejeda, 41, was booked on Friday on a series of charges including sexual battery, child abuse, and lewd assault on a child under the age of 16.
As NBC-Miami reported, one victim told school officials and the police that Valle-Tejeda began molesting her in 2009, when she was a 14-year-old middle school student.
Arrest documents viewed by local news outlets say that Valle-Tejeda “groomed” the student and gave her “financial assistance.” She slept over the teacher’s house often, the documents say. The abuse lasted for years until the student turned 18, according to a CBS affiliate.
Valle-Tejeda allegedly skipped school with the girl and pulled her out of other classes without her mom’s permission. The two would then go to the beach or restaurants, and took showers together. The report says that Valle-Tejeda acted as a “mother figure.”
Two more victims have reportedly come forward to police, including one who said she was 11 when Valle-Tejeda began a “romantic relationship,” 7 News Miami reports. One former student said that she would engage in sexual acts on school grounds. Valle-Tejeda also encouraged her to participate in phone sex, but “constantly” reminded the victim to erase incriminating sexts.
Another victim alleged that Valle-Tejeda took her to clubs and bars when she was 17.
Valle-Tejeda was arrested and taken to Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. She is being held without bond on a slew of charges and was fired from her reading teacher position. Hialeah High School has scrubbed Valle-Tejeda’s presence from its website.
The Miami-Dade school district released a statement: “Miami-Dade County Public Schools is deeply disturbed about the allegations made against this individual. As soon as the claims surfaced last month, the employee was removed from the school setting and Miami-Dade Schools Police launched an investigation. The District will be terminating her employment and she will be prevented from seeking future work with this school system.”