Garcia, whose husband, Edward, is the former principal of Immaculate Conception Catholic School, did not return a call seeking comment.
According to public records, a Pace teacher reported alleged sexual misconduct by Ward to the Miami-Dade Police Department in 2006 and to Ana Garcia, the principal, the previous year, raising questions about whether the school only recently learned of the allegations.
“He’s not sure exactly what Ms. Garcia did with the information he provided,” stated an October 2006 police report. “He heard a rumor that Ms. Garcia attempted to solicit information from the students. However, none of the students came forward.”
The report shows that a sexual crimes detective interviewed the teacher and five students believed to be targets of Ward’s alleged sexual abuse.
Among the potential victims interviewed: One of the men who filed suit against Ward on Monday. According to the report, the man told the detective that he had never had any problems with Ward.
“I would second-guess anyone who made any type of allegations against Mr. Ward,” the man told the detective in 2006, adding that Ward was “one of the better teachers” at Pace and that he viewed him as his “mentor.”
The detective’s report concluded that “no criminal act was committed” by Ward.
Leesfield, who represents the man who spoke to the detective, said his client had never reported Ward’s abuse to his parents or Pace school officials. He said the man still felt controlled and intimidated by Ward and the establishment at Pace.
“When he spoke to the detective, he was in denial and trying to bury these terrible memories,” Leesfield said.
Leesfield said the man, known as “John Doe M,” had suffered sexual abuse not only at Pace but also at Immaculate Conception, which he attended from kindergarten to eighth grade. “The boy’s whole childhood was marred by sexual abuse,” Leesfield said.
According to the suit, Ward exploited his position as the disciplinarian at Pace who enforced school rules, including the dress code. He would threaten male students with demerits and summon them into his office, ordering them to lock the door and close the blinds, then undress and model for him, the suit stated.
Ward allegedly subjected the three men who sued him to “repeated sexual assaults,” including masturbation, fondling and digital penetration.
“Requests were made on numerous occasions by faculty members to take down the blinds in Ward’s office so he could not continue his campaign of sexual abuse and molestation,” according to the suit. “Those pleas were ignored.”