WIMAUMA, FL (WFLA) – The abuse was so savage, so disturbing that even veteran law enforcement officers were stunned by what they discovered.
On Wednesday, a teacher and soccer coach at RCMA Academy in Wimauma was arrested, accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl in a classroom for months.
The Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office tells WFLA the horrific abuse began just before Thanksgiving in November 2016 and lasted for five long months. It finally ended in March 2017.
According to investigators, 29-year-old Sonny Juarez would touch himself, then touch the teenage girl, all while on campus in the back of a classroom.
The details of the case get even more disturbing.
It was later discovered that the 13-year-old had suffered even more abuse during that same time.
Investigators tell us another adult was also hurting her, allegedly someone she knew well, 54-year-old Felipe Diaz Hernandez. In fact, detectives explained that the man got the child pregnant.
She gave birth to a baby girl in September of this year.
Ingrid Richards, a grandmother who lives across the street from Juarez, was heartbroken when she heard the news Wednesday afternoon.
“She’s been molested by two different grown folks. It’s so sad,” she told WFLA. “You don’t do this to kids. You don’t. It’s sad.”
Those who live near the teacher on a quiet, friendly neighborhood street, are stunned to know that the man they often said “hi” to and waved at from their porches is now accused of molesting a little girl.
“I’m a grown person,” said Ingrid. “I wouldn’t even know how to handle something like that, much less a little kid. You know, that’s not right. That’s just not right.”
Well-known Tampa child psychiatrist Dr. Walter Afield explains that sexual abuse this young from people this girl trusted will be a battle this 13-year-old will fight forever.
“It’s absolutely sickening when you look at it and when you see it, it’s terrible. It is one of the worst things that can happen,” Dr. Afield said.
When asked why someone would ever commit such a disgusting, devious crime, he said, “We will probably never know. People will seek out someone who’s vulnerable, and the predators go after the person who is truly vulnerable.”
Both Sonny Juarez and Felipe Diaz Hernandez are still locked up in the Hillsbrough County Jail.
Meanwhile, the teacher has since been fired from RCMA Academy and will have his first court appearance in Hillsborough County Thursday morning. As for the little girl, she is now 14-years-old.
“There are no words,” said Ingrid. “There really are no words.”