MIAMI - A South Florida teacher accused of having sex with a 16-year-old student was released from jail Wednesday evening.
Investigators say 25-year-old John Farrell, a first year math and statistics teacher at Cardinal Gibbons High School, moved to South Florida from Virginia nine months ago. He's also an assistance hockey coach.
News about the arrest spread through the school's campus.
"It's crazy to think, but it happens all the time out there. You just don't really realize it," said 11th grade student Brianna Dumas.
He faced a judge Tuesday morning. Farrell is facing 20 counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor. According to the arrest affidavit, Farrell had sexual intercourse with the female student 20 times during a three-month period from mid-March until just a few days ago.
"She doesn't understand. She's just thinking of the storybook romance -- if you want to call it that," said Camille Mucci, a parent whose child attends Cardinal Gibbons.
"He's sick. There's something wrong with him," said Jeff Paolillo, another parent who spoke with Local 10 about the incident. "To do that to a girl that age, you're just ruining their life."
Police and the girl's parents found out what happened, had the girl place a phone call to Gibbons, during which, according to police, he admitted to having the relationship and asked her not to "say anything."
School security officers didn't want parents or students to say anything either, confronting reporters who attempted to speak with them after school off school property.
"Once you drop off your children, you expect them to be safe," said Ruthann Dumas.
"I can't even imagine what that parent is going through at this time," said another parent. "What do you say? What do you do? How do you react?'
Bond for Farrell was set a $50,000. His parents, who live in Massachusetts, reportedly would be posting bond for their son, Local 10's John Turchin reported.
On Tuesday morning, the Archdiocese of Miami released the following statement:
"Mr. Farrell, a first year teacher at Cardinal Gibbons, successfully participated in the full background screening process and VIRTUS training required by the Archdiocese of Miami's Safe Environment Policy prior to his employment for the 2012-2013 school year.
Cardinal Gibbons' administrators are fully cooperating with the BSO's investigation; in addition, notification has been sent via email to all parents of the student body.
Mr. Farrell is on unpaid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation."
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