SOUTH MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A teacher at a South Miami-Dade school has bonded out of jail after being accused of having a sexual relationship with a teenage student, and investigators said the suspect sneaked into the victim’s home.
Joseph Edward Tolliver, 37, is now being charged with lewd and lascivious battery of a minor.
“To know that you bring a child to a school, to a teacher, that’s suppose to protect the kids and they do something like this it’s very scary,” said Grisel Maria Caballero, a parent.
He appeared before Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Mindy S. Glazer, Wednesday afternoon.
“Sir, you got arrested for some serious charges,” said Glazer.
The victim’s mother, who asked not to be identified or show her face on camera, is now devastated because someone who was supposed to protect children has now been arrested and accused of a disgusting crime.
“I know that he was brainwashing my daughter,” said the victim’s mother. “It’s just sad. How dare you do that to my child? You know you were an adult. You know she was only 14 years old, so why would you do that?”
Tolliver was a teacher at Campbell Drive K-8 Center, located along the 15700 block of Southwest 307th Street.
Miami-Dade Police said their Special Victims Bureau arrested Tolliver in connection to a relationship he had with a 14-year-old girl.
According to the police report, Tolliver would crawl into the victim’s room through her bedroom window to avoid being seen by the girl’s mother.
Police said the suspect took part in sexual acts with the teenage girl several times, with the most recent occurrence happening on Feb. 4 inside the girl’s car.
“Further into the investigation, we found out that only four days ago, the subject went to the victim’s residence where she went inside his vehicle and, once again, they engaged in sexual activity,” said Miami-Dade Police detective Argemis Colome.
The victim’s mother said she found out and went to the police. Tolliver was taken into custody on Tuesday night.
In court Wednesday, Tolliver was issued a stay-away order.
A spokesperson for Miami-Dade County Public Schools released a statement regarding the relationship. It reads, “We commend the Miami-Dade Police Department for their investigative work on this case, which occurred away from the school setting, and for bringing this individual to justice. The District has initiated employment termination proceedings, and will ensure the individual is precluded from seeking future employment with the District. Miami-Dade County Public Schools is profoundly disturbed by the abhorrent allegations made against this individual. This District goes to great lengths to promote a safe and secure learning environment and any actions that run contrary to that will not be tolerated.”
MDPD Director Freddie Ramirez also released a statement. It reads, “As a father, I am deeply disturbed anytime an educator betrays the public’s trust. Schools are considered to be a safe haven for our children, and us parents entrust the educators with the safety and security of our children.”
As for the victim’s mother, she had a message for Tolliver.
“I just hope that God gives you forgiveness and that you think about what you did,” she said. “I’m not going to have any hate, because at the end of the day, there is a God, and I’m just going to let Him handle it.”
Tolliver has been with M-DCPS since 2008. He has posted bond and was seen Thursday morning walking out of TGK with a towel around his head.
A woman was by his side as he walked out of the facility. They did not speak while 7News cameras captured the moment.
He is due back in court March 9.
If anyone has been a victim of these kinds of incidents, police urge people to call the MDPD SVU at 305-715-3300.
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