MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A Riviera Middle School teacher was arrested after a student said he inappropriately touched her twice in a closet in the school’s library on Oct. 17, a Miami-Dade police said.
According to an Oct. 18 arrest report, Robert Schwartz, 42, was teaching his sixth-period class when he lured one of his female students into a book closet in the campus library.
Once both he and the student were inside, Schwartz closed the door behind them and turned the lights on and off. While the lights were off, the victim told deputies that Schwartz grabbed her breasts with both hands. While the lights remained off, the student confronted Schwartz about what he had done before he groped her for a second time.
The student then pushed Schwartz in the direction of the light switch, police said. The teacher proceeded to turn the lights back on and the two exited the closet.
At the conclusion of the school day, the victim told her mother, who immediately reported the incident to law enforcement officials and school administrators.
After the student reported the issue, Miami-Dade County Public Schools began an investigation.
"Miami-Dade County Public Schools is deeply troubled by the disturbing allegations made against this individual. Upon learning about this suspected behavior, Miami-Dade Schools Police immediately began their investigation and subsequently made an arrest," a Miami-Dade County Public Schools spokeswoman wrote in an official statement.
"This type of comportment will not be tolerated as it runs contrary to the professional conduct we expect from all employees. This person is no longer employed by our school system and will be precluded from seeking future employment with this district," the statement continued.
Schwartz was arrested last Friday and confessed to the alleged incident in a sworn statement to police.
On Wednesday afternoon, at school dismissal time, many parents told Local 10 News they heard the news about Schwartz’ arrest.
Rafael Garcia, whose son said he knows the victim, said he was disturbed by the allegations.
"Serious allegations, and it's not anything to take lightly. We're talking about young children here, and in this case, luckily [she] was able to speak out," Garcia said. "But in some cases, who knows the kids that might not have spoken?"
Garcia's son, Josian, said he has not heard from the victim since the alleged incident.
"She didn't tell me anything. She just kind of, like -- the same day it happened -- she didn't mention it to me. So I assumed everything was alright," Garcia said.
According to district officials, Schwartz is s a 14-year teacher with Miami-Dade County Public Schools with no documented history or disciplinary actions. Prior to teaching, Schwartz was a registered paraprofessional with the county.