Hialeah Teacher Punched 17-Year-Old in Face When She Refused To Have Sex: Police

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Manuel Cruz, 53, faces charges of simple battery and unlawful sex with a minor, an arrest affidavit said. Hialeah High School students Thomas Barrago and Martha Cello spoke about Cruz. (Published Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013)

    A 53-year-old Hialeah High School teacher was arrested after he punched a 17-year-old victim in the face when she refused to have sex with him, police said.

    She met Manuel Cruz on Dec. 9 at his apartment complex, and he told Hialeah Police that he had sexual intercourse with her on one occasion, an arrest affidavit said.

    On Dec. 20 the two were drinking and smoking marijuana at his apartment, but when he asked her to have sex she refused, the affidavit said.

    Cruz then punched her in the face with a closed fist, causing her to lose consciousness, according to the affidavit.

    The victim received injuries to her left eye and cheek, the affidavit said.

    Cruz told police that he had three Scotch drinks before and during the encounter, and admitted to punching her in the face, according to the affidavit.

    Cruz faces charges of simple battery and unlawful sex with a minor, the affidavit said. It was not immediately known whether he has an attorney.

    Cruz, who was an English teacher at Hialeah High, has since resigned from his job, according to the school district. The 17-year-old is not a student there, the district said.

    Many students have been talking about Cruz's case at the school.

    "They caught him, he confessed to it and he is not in the school anymore," Martha Cello said.

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