Two former students are taking legal action against the Miami-Dade School Board, claiming the district didn’t protect them from their teacher.
In their lawsuits filed this week, the young women said they were sexually harassed and assaulted by then gym teacher, Wendell Nibbs, while they were attending Brownsville Middle School.
In a 2017 police interview, exclusively obtained by NBC6 Investigators, one of the former students said Nibbs took advantage of her when she was on eighth grade.
“He took me into his office and that’s when he started touching me,” she said.
The former student, who is now 18-years-old, said she asked Nibbs to stop but he didn’t listen.
“He tried to cover my mouth ‘cause I would kept screaming ,” she said. “And that’s when he told me to be quiet. And he raped me.”
According to her suit, the encounter took place in the Spring of 2015.
Nibbs was not charged in connection with her case but her complaint and police interview are part of the state’s case against Nibbs, who was arrested and charged with sexual battery in 2017 - after another Brownsville student told police they had sex multiple times at school.
Nibbs has entered a not guilty plea. He denied any wrongdoing to school police the year of his arrest.
“I never had any sexual encounter with any student,” Nibbs said.
“We see Nibbs as a predator, who used Brownsville as his hunting ground,” said one of the students’ lawyers, Aaron Karger during a news conference in January.
Nibbs spent more than a decade teaching in Brownsville.
An NBC6 Investigation found that these former students are among at least seven others who have accused Nibbs of sexual misconduct since 2004. The accusations ranged from inappropriate comments to molestation and rape.
“I think it’s astounding that someone could be kept in their role as a gym teacher, surrounded by middle school aged female students...after he was repeatedly investigated for these grievances of sexual nature,” said Karger.
There are a total of four lawsuits filed against the district in Nibbs’ case. Karger and his team are representing three of those students.
The Miami-Dade School District wouldn’t comment on Nibbs’ case due to the pending lawsuits but in a statement, a spokesperson told us the district doesn’t tolerate inappropriate behavior.
“No child should ever fear going to school or fall victim to a predator while they are within the envelope of safety established within the schoolhouse walls.”
The spokesperson said the district recently implemented a series of protocols that are designed to protect students, including reinforcing training for personnel and reviewing their investigative process.
Nibbs’ attorney declined to comment about the lawsuits and criminal case.