By Kevin Deutsch
A Broward County high school teacher from Tamarac is accused of sexual misconduct with a minor student and could face firing for failing to disclose the arrest.
Rafael Guzman, 37, a career and technical teacher at Piper High in Sunrise, allegedly asked the female pupil to stay after class on Jan. 27, told her to turn off the lights, and brought her into his classroom office.
There, he “touched and kissed her breast…exposed his penis and masturbated in front of her,” according to an arrest affidavit filed by the Sunrise Police Department.
Guzman, who lives on Landings Terrace, then handed the victim $100 in cash and “told her not to feel bad,” according to the affidavit.
Guzman admitted to the sex act with the girl, police said. Court records show that he was charged with an offense against a student by an authority figure.
He has pleaded not guilty and is currently free on a $50,000 bond, court records show.
As part of his pretrial release conditions, Guzman is banned by law from any contact with minors under 18 and is “not to return to…campus until further order of the court.”
Guzman remains employed by the school district, but that could soon change.
Under school board policy, Guzman was required to disclose his arrest to the Broward County Public Schools district within 48 hours, district records show.
Broward Schools Superintendent Vickie Cartwright has recommended to the school board that Guzman be terminated, asking for action on the matter at the board’s April 19 meeting.
Cartwright previously filed an administrative complaint against Guzman, seeking his firing for alleged misconduct in office.
Guzman, hired by the district in August 2018, also violated state law with his conduct, Cartwright alleges in her complaint.
He is due back in court for his criminal case on May 5.
Guzman’s defense attorney did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment Thursday.
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- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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