An 18-year-old assistant teacher at a private Florida preschool is accused of sexual misconduct after he allegedly touched a young student under her dress, according to authorities.
Anthony Guadalupe, who was working at the Chappell School Longleaf Campus in St. Johns, was taken into custody on a felony charge of lewd and lascivious behavior related to sexual misconduct on a child younger than 12 after the girl's parents reported the alleged incident, the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office said in an arrest report obtained by First Coast News.
The minor claimed to her father that Guadalupe put a toy in her underwear on July 18, so the parents went to the school and asked to review available video, the report states.
Surveillance footage allegedly shows Guadalupe putting his hand under the girl’s dress and touching her “inappropriately in the classroom,” according to the report.
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Melanie Williams, CEO of Chappell Schools, told First Coast News in an email that the school has turned over to sheriff office investigators a hard drive containing the video as well as a list of students.
“At Chappell Schools, our top priority is the safety and well-being of the children in our care, which has been the case for more than 60 years,” Williams wrote in the email.
“Upon learning of a former employee’s alleged inappropriate actions with a student on July 18th, we immediately took steps to ensure the staff member did not have access to the school, both state and local authorities were notified and the St. John's County Sheriff's office arrested the former employee,” she wrote, noting the investigation into the alleged incident is ongoing.
Guadalupe was booked into the St. Johns County jail on July 24, and he bonded out on $100,000, jail records show.
He has reportedly pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
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