A teacher at a Doral charter school was arrested Friday after police investigators determined she sent a series of lewd texts and expensive gifts to a 13-year-old student during last spring and into the summer.
Police claim that Andrea Jimenez, 47, who taught at Doral International Math & Science Academy, told the student she was in love with him and spoke explicitly about his body parts. She taught the student for two years through the sixth grade.
Police say the boy was able to fend off Jimenez’s advances, but that his parents became suspicious when items they hadn’t purchased appeared around the home and after looking at his cellphone.
Doral police spokesman Rey Valdez said investigators downloaded the student’s text messages and matched them to Jimenez’s cellphone.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
“They found the gifts suspicious coming from a teacher,” Valdez said.
Her lawyers, Jude Faccidomo and Rachel Curtis at Miami’s Ratzan & Faccidomo, jumped on the police department’s account, calling it a rush to judgment.
“These allegations came to light Wednesday midday,” Faccidomo said. “The detective advised us he was ready to make an arrest Thursday afternoon. I think it is safe to say that no valid investigation took place. Nevertheless, Ms. Jimenez cooperated fully and we are looking forward to the State Attorney doing a legitimate review of these allegations.”
Curtis, a former prosecutor with the Miami-Dade state attorney’s sexual battery, child abuse and traffic homicide units, said the charges won’t hold up.
“I do not believe these charges to be legally or factually sustainable,” he said.
Police said at one point Jimenez lured the student into a classroom, put both hands on his face and tried to kiss him. He fought off her advances, police said. They also said the teacher bought her student clothing, shoes, electronics, toys and books.
Jimenez was charged with single counts of lewd and lascivious conduct and attempted lewd and lascivious conduct on a child and with certain uses that are prohibited on a computer device. She was transported to Turner Guilford Knight correctional center and her bond was set at $17,500. She was released from jail Friday night.
The school sent a message to parents Friday to tell them that the principal had alerted authorities and told the teacher to leave the campus.