Girl's mother wants school's 'predatory pedophile' to pay, attorney says

Mother files lawsuit against teacher, charter school


HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – A substitute teacher at Ben Gamla Preparatory High School, a charter school in Hollywood, sexually abused a 15-year-old student, and her mother wants both the school and the teacher to pay for her daughter's suffering, according to a civil lawsuit filed in Broward County court. 

The girl's mother filed lawsuits against the teacher identified as Roman Jose Fondon Jr., the school and Academica, the Florida company that manages the school, according to her attorney, John Leighton of Leighton Law in Miami's Brickell neighborhood.

"Fondon began to message her and engage in inappropriate contact with her," Leighton said on Wednesday in a statement. "The behavior escalated to a point when he engaged in sexual contact with this girl, including tying her up and blindfolding her while he committed sex acts on her."

Fondon used Instagram to communicate with the girl, police said. Some of the alleged abuse happened inside Fondon's classroom at 3151 Taft St., the parking lot of the Hollywood YMCA, in the girl's bedroom and on the rooftop of the condominium where she lives, according to the lawsuit. 

"Fondon exhibited elements of a predatory pedophile, as he routinely would flirt with students and talk about his personal life," Leighton wrote in the lawsuit. 

Hollywood Police Department officers arrested Fondon, who was 27 years old when the alleged abuse happened, Sept. 19, 2018. He is facing three counts of sexual battery on a minor and three counts of lewd or lascivious battery on a minor.

Leighton said Fondon, who does not have a Florida teaching certificate, was not a trained teacher when he was hired to work as a substitute teacher. 

This is a developing story. Local 10 News has yet to receive statements from Fondon, Ben Gamla Preparatory High School and Academica responding to the lawsuits. 

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