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Former Miami teacher accepts plea deal in child abuse case

Frederick Mena to serve 10 years of probation for digging nails into girl's skin

Frederick Mena.

MIAMI – A former public school teacher in Miami-Dade County accepted a plea deal Tuesday in a child abuse case against him.

As part of the deal, Frederick Mena pleaded guilty to an aggravated child abuse charge and was sentenced to 10 years of probation.

Mena must also see a therapist once a month, must comply with any medication regimen prescribed and must surrender his teaching license in Florida. He is also not allowed to have any contact with the victim or her mother.

Mena was arrested last March when he was working as a kindergarten teacher at Silver Bluff Elementary School.

Police said he dug his nails into a student’s hand and left calf because he was frustrated that he was trying to help her learn her numbers and she wasn’t getting the answers correct.

Police said Mena claimed the girl was growing frustrated and began whining. He said he then became upset and dug his nails into her skin.

According to police, Mena said he had an urge for wanting to see the victim cry, wanted to take advantage of her while she was at a low point and said he felt no remorse after digging his nails into her skin.

Shortly after his arrest, a Miami-Dade County Public Schools representative said Mena was fired and is prohibited from working for the school district in the future.

As part of the conditions of the plea deal, Mena is not allowed to be with any children unsupervised and cannot teach or volunteer for any person of authority with children involved. He must also follow a curfew of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. unless he needs to be out for work with approval from his probation officer.

The state will reconsider the terms of his plea deal in five years.

If he violates his probation, Mena could spend up to 30 years in prison.