Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include the Miami Dade State Attorney’s decision to take no action on the allegations months following the arrest.
A teacher was cleared of charges after being arrested and accused of inappropriately touching students at a school in Miami Gardens.
NBC6 first reported the case as Yosef Benita, a teacher at Lubavitch Educational Center, turned himself in April 2021 and appeared in a bond court hearing.
At the hearing, a detective testified that a 10-year-old student came forward in March saying 33-year-old Benita touched him in his genital area while he was a tutor in the school’s resource center.
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Another student — a 10-year-old with special needs— also told child services that the same thing happened to him.
Benita faced charges of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child.
After his arrest, a spokesperson for the school said they suspended the teacher during the investigation. They also said the physical and emotional safety of their students is their priority.
Dustin Tischler, Benita's attorney, said he was confident Benita did nothing inappropriate and will ultimately be cleared of the charges.
"Before voluntarily turning himself into custody to defend against these allegations, Rabbi Benita submitted to a polygraph examination and was found by an expert to be truthful in his steadfast denials of inappropriate conduct," the attorney said in a statement.
According to a memo obtained by NBC 6, Benita’s attorney provided the passing polygraph test to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and an evaluation in which a doctor concluded Benita is “at below average risk of sexual recidivism.”
Months after Benita’s arrest, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office decided not to move forward with the case.
Kelly Hartman, Assistant State Attorney, wrote in a memo the “State would not be able to prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt,” citing in part, lack of physical evidence, one student’s conflicting statements and another student’s statement that he wasn’t sure “if the touching was an accident as it happened in passing.”
The memo states that “it does not appear that any prior complaints were made to his employers” and after the school notified parents about the allegations, “no other students reported any inappropriate behavior involving the defendant.”