A Broward County teacher accused of grooming a student for a sexual relationship has been arrested and is facing a charge, authorities said.
John Michael Teti, a 41-year-old teacher at Northeast Senior High School in Oakland Park, was arrested Thursday on a change of an authority figure soliciting or engaging in a romantic relationship with a student, according to an arrest report.
Teti is a digital information technology teacher and had been working at the school for less than a year, according to a Broward County Public Schools spokesperson. He was terminated Thursday.
The report said Teti spent months grooming a 16-year-old student in an attempt to have a romantic and sexual relationship with the teen.
"In essence, [Teti] was 'grooming' the victim, a common practice among pedophiles who initiate relationships with children in order to prepare them for sexual relationships," the report said.
In October, Teti was internally reprimanded by the school for inappropriate communication with students using the app "Remind Me," the report said. After he was reprimanded, he "circumvented administrative monitoring and suspicion by exchanging personal cell phone numbers with several of his students" and continued communicating with some students via personal cell phone, the report said.
Teti, whose attorney says has no prior criminal record, admitted to BSO that he sent sexually charged text messages to the teen, and said he did so in the early morning when he was lonely, the report said.
"If my wife were to suddenly die, would you be my teenage bride," one message read, according to the report.
"I think you're just avoiding me, because you're afraid that if you're near me for too long, you won't be able to control yourself and you're just going to attempt to start making out with me," read another.
The report said Teti and the teen used a vape pen to get high together while alone in a classroom, and he would allow the teen to skip other classes and hang out in his classroom.
The arrest report said Teti continued his inappropriate communication with the student after the teen asked him to stop twice and called his behavior “creepy." In one incident in December, Teti called another teacher and requested that the victim report to his classroom, where he gave her a hug, the report said.
Also in December, he sent the teen a package containing food and snacks and note wishing the teen Happy Holidays, the report said. The teen's father found out and contacted Teti, calling him a pedophile and telling him when school began he would be arrested, the report said.
"On Thursday, January 31, the District’s Special Investigate Unit delivered a letter of termination to this individual, who had been reassigned away from the school since early January 2019<' Broward Schools said in a statement. "The individual was then escorted from a District facility and immediately taken into custody by BSO."
Teti appeared in court Friday where he was ordered held on $50,000 bond.