A music teacher at a Miami elementary school was arrested after police say he carried on a sexual relationship with an underage girl when he was a counselor at a summer band camp at the University of Miami nearly five years ago.
Justin James House, 31, was arrested Tuesday on a charge of engaging in a sexual act with a child, according to an arrest report. Records showed House is currently a music teacher at Lorah Park Elementary School on Northwest 31st Avenue, but the alleged victim was not a student at the school.
According to the report, the alleged victim said the incident began in June 2013, when she attended the Frost Musician's Summer Camp at UM. That's where the girl, 16 at the time, met House, who was 26 and a senior counselor there, the report said.
House befriended the teen and invited her to his dorm room on campus, where the two engaged in sex acts, the report said. The sexual activity happened on two or three occasions during the two weeks of camp, the report said.
After camp ended, House maintained contact with the girl. In June 2014, she returned to the camp and her relationship with House once again became sexual, the report said. The relationship ended when he was fired as a camp counselor.
The alleged victim went to police in March of 2018 and told detectives House had sexually assaulted her at the camp, the report said. Detectives had her call House, who told her he was aware she was 16 when the sexual activity started, the report said.
House said "although he knew it was wrong that he was having sexual relations with an underage student, under his care, he felt he wanted to have a romantic relationship with [her]," the report said.
House was arrested and booked into jail. He appeared in bond court Wednesday where he was ordered to stay away from the alleged victim. Attorney information wasn't available.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools said they are cooperating with Coral Gables Police in their investigation.
"Although this case is not related to his employment with the school district, the charge against this individual is serious, reprehensible and considered a disqualifying offense that will result in his termination," MDCPS said in a statement.
News of the arrest had some parents and grandparents at Lorah Park upset.
"We called the school, I called twice because one of my friends called me to tell me they had arrested a teacher here and they didn't give us no information," said Vivian Castellano. "We're concerned, we're concerned because it could have been my granddaughter. God forbid."
The University of Miami said late Wednesday it has "been made aware of the incident and arrest."
"We are working closely with Coral Gables Police Department and cooperating fully with their investigation," UM said.