Local 10 has reported that a former teacher has been arrested for having a sexual relationship with a student when employed at Everglades High School located at 17100 SW 48th Ct, Miramar, FL 33027.
A delayed report was made to the Miramar Police Office on Dec. 10, 2020. Allegedly, 48-year-old Carlos Alberto Menendez had been sexually involved with a student at the high school while she was 15 years old until she was 17. The victim claimed she was forced into having a sexual relationship with the teacher, who also served as the volleyball and basketball coach at the high school. He allegedly told the victim that he would kill himself if she told the authorities.
The abuse first occurred when Menendez was driving the victim to a friend's house between February and March of 2017. Other locations for the abuse included a closet in Menendez's office, the athletic trainer room, and a classroom. During the relationship, the victim reportedly had sexual intercourse with the teacher five times and was forced by him to take Plan-B pills following three pregnancy scares. At the end of the relationship, the victim claimed to have seen messages from the teacher to a student at Cypress Bay High School that included student selfies.
Menendez left Everglades High School and took a position at Cypress Bay High School located at 18600 Vista Park Blvd, Weston, FL 33332. However, his most recent place of employment included a school in Delaware. Menendez was arrested on May 27, 2022, and is facing five charges of sexual battery by a person in custodial authority on a victim over 12 and under 18. Police are urging anyone that may have been victimized by the former teacher to come forward.
Attorney contributor Michael Haggard is an experienced school sex abuse attorney in the state of Florida. He often represents victims and their families in private civil lawsuits. Michael recently highlighted when a victim could sue if sexually abused by a high school teacher.
"The safety of a school campus should be a high priority for school administration. To ensure the safety of their student body, they need safeguards in place to prevent sexual assault by teachers and coaches. We've been hearing a lot lately about school staff being accused of sexually abusing students. Unfortunately, some of these incidents may have been avoided if the school had implemented an acceptable safety strategy. This approach could entail installing video surveillance systems throughout the campus as well as doing rigorous background checks on all employees."
"When victims submit a police report, they aid in the prosecution of the abuser, but an investigation into the school's security is also necessary. The abuse could have been prevented in many situations if the school had taken the appropriate steps. If such preventative measures were not taken, victims and their parents might have grounds to file a civil case against the school or school district. Families of victims sexually abused by a high school teacher should speak with an experienced school sex abuse attorney to explore their legal options for justice."