Foreign-exchange host accused of molesting student believed dead in suicide
A Cutler Bay foreign-exchange student host accused of molesting an underage student killed himself Tuesday morning, days after being released from jail to await trial.
Prompted by a 7 a.m. emergency call from a friend of Dale Leary, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue rushed to his Cutler Bay home, 8531 SW 185th Terr. Paramedics found Leary, 50, dead inside a sedan in the backyard alongside his unconscious first wife, 47-year-old Claudia Leary. She was rushed to Jackson South Hospital and remained alive. A hose and suspected suicide notes were found nearby.
The double would-be suicide adds a twist to an already bizarre story and what was a widening police investigation into Leary, a tech and advertising consultant.
Dale and Claudia Leary had served as foreign-exchange hosts, even though he had a 1985 conviction for a sex assault in Coral Gables. Claudia Leary is a longtime Miami-Dade schools administrator based at the J.R.E. Lee Education Center.
Last month, police arrested Leary and his second wife, Marta San Jose, 21, who had been a foreign-exchange student from Spain hosted by the Learys from 2012-2014. Detectives said Dale Leary and San Jose lured her then 14-year-old sister to Miami as an exchange student in June 2014, then manipulated her into participating in sex acts and pornographic photo shoots.
Leary divorced Claudia Leary in 2014, marrying San Jose days after she turned 18, records show. But Claudia remained a part of their lives — and detectives had been examining what role, if any, she played in Leary’s suspected misconduct.
San Jose remains in jail. Her defense lawyer, Jorge Viera, learned of Leary’s death early Tuesday and was preparing to break the news to his client.
“I’m going to see Marta in the jail, along with a chaplain,” Viera said. “This is shocking. A very sad situation.”