A teacher at a Miami-Dade County high school ended up behind bars after police said he allegedly asked a female student to kiss him after class.
Andy Barbosa-Morell, 40, was arrested Tuesday and charged with two counts, including child abuse and offenses against a student by an authority figure.
According to an arrest report, Barbosa approached the student during a Spanish class at Felix Varela High School on Jan. 28 and began touching her leg. The student told police she was "creeped out" when Barbosa did that and later when he was staring at her, the report said.
Later in the class, Barbosa allegedly came up from behind the student and grabbed her hair before jerking her head up and telling her in Spanish not to talk.
Barbosa allegedly asked the victim for a kiss after class. The student left the room and reported the incident to police, which was corroborated by other students who were in the class, the report said.
Barbosa was later interviewed by police and stated he didn't remember the incident, but didn't deny it occurred, the report said. He was taken into custody and booked into jail.
An 11th grader who was in the class when the alleged incident happened said the student had her head down on her desk as if she was sleeping.
"He always does this thing with this other student’s hair. He always like touches her hair because it is fluffy and stuff like that," the student told NBC 6. "So that’s what I’m thinking, that he tried to do the same with her and tried to wake her up and that's why they say it went up and down.”
"He doesn't do it with the intention of making people feel uncomfortable. But he does make some people uncomfortable," the 11th grader added.
Another man, who works with Barbosa as a community theatre actor, can't believe the allegations.
"Nobody believes it," Gerardo Riveron said. "Honestly, you can't say but I wait that justice is served. I wait that he is found innocent."
Miami-Dade County Public Schools issued a statement saying they were "deeply troubled" by the allegations.
"As soon as the claims surfaced, the employee was immediately removed from the school setting. Conduct such as the one he is accused of will not be tolerated," the district said in the statement. "As such, the District will initiate employment termination proceedings, and will ensure the individual is precluded from seeking future employment with the District."
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