OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – A chef who worked at an elite boarding university for troubled teen women is accused of molesting or abusing 4 juveniles who lived there, courtroom documents clearly show.
Manuel Rodriguez, 40, presented women nicotine vape or marijuana edibles in exchange for their silence about the abuse, in accordance to arrest data.
Rodriguez has pleaded not guilty.
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The alleged crimes transpired at Providence Pass, a religion-centered boarding university that’s described on its web page as “a planet-class preparatory college for teenage women who wrestle.”
The school assists ladies ages 13 to 17 with difficulties such as conduct disorders, ingesting problems, depression, and delicate material abuse, according to its internet site. Some pupils have compensated extra than $7,000 for every month to go to, court docket data display.
As Rodriguez is held in the Osceola County jail with no bond while awaiting demo, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Place of work stated it continues to actively look into the situation and is seeking into the possibility that there might be extra victims.
“As an business, we are heartbroken at the modern arrest of one of our former team users,” Providence Go officers said in a statement. “The faculty is totally cooperating with regulation enforcement, and we are wholly shocked at these extremely really serious allegations.”
Arrest data: Quite a few victims included
In early December, a 14-yr-outdated girl disclosed to her therapist at Providence Pass that she had been sexually abused by Rodriguez setting up soon ahead of Thanksgiving, courtroom data show.
University officials contacted law enforcement within just two days of discovering about the allegations, according to the sheriff’s office.
In accordance to court docket records, as Rodriguez and the 14-year-outdated walked down a long driveway from the Colonial-type boarding dwelling to the mailbox, the teen statements Rodriguez talked about how he experienced carried out “sexual things” with women in the earlier.
Even though returning to the residence, the woman explained to sheriff’s investigators that Rodriguez “began touching her confront and thighs.”
Right after Thanksgiving crack, the girl said she followed the chef into the garage to get some food items. There, she claims Rodriguez touched her rear conclude and thighs.
The lady also claimed Rodriguez designed her contact his penis on top of his clothing, in accordance to arrest data.
Rodriguez later brought the girl a nicotine vape, which she claims she flushed down the toilet mainly because she would get in trouble for it, court documents point out.
“I’m not guaranteed I can have confidence in you, but you simply cannot convey to any one about this,” Rodriguez allegedly instructed the girl.
The 14-calendar year-previous explained to investigators she had spoken with other college students who claimed they had also been abused by Rodriguez, prompting authorities to interview extra pupils.
A 16-calendar year-aged instructed detectives Rodriguez groped her above her outfits whilst the two had been by itself with each other inside of the boarding home.
“You’re basically the most attractive human being I have ever witnessed. I would like my spouse experienced your body,” Rodriguez allegedly informed the teen.
Later on that working day, the 16-12 months-old statements Rodriguez put her palms on his penis as the two rode by yourself with each other in a van to deliver foodstuff to other students at the college developing situated about 20 miles away from the boarding residence in downtown Celebration.
“[Rodriguez] offered [the victim] a nicotine vape if she didn’t say everything to any person,” the arrest report states. “He also promised her edibles on Christmas. [Rodriguez] hardly ever gave them to her simply because he received fired in advance of this.”
A third teen instructed investigators Rodriguez entered her darkened bed room about 10 p.m. one particular evening and “laid on her for about five minutes” though “playing with” her breast, in accordance to courtroom records.
A fourth teenager statements Rodriguez brushed his hand throughout her rear conclude on at least two events.
“When she went to mattress, he would kiss her brow,” the arrest report states. “This was when they had been in Place 5 and she was obtaining a rough working day.”
Providence Pass owner William Del-Giudice explained to sheriff’s investigators that workers users were prohibited from staying by itself with juvenile women, such as in bedrooms, and male workers have been expected to remain only in popular spots of the property.
Del-Giudice said Rodriguez was by no means authorized to go on walks with any juvenile ladies and could only drive them in the van if 3 or four other women had been existing, court documents display.
In accordance to courtroom data, Del-Giudice positioned protection online video showing Manuel and a juvenile enter the garage by itself collectively. It is unclear from the report whether that juvenile is a person of the alleged victims.
“We choose the security of kids incredibly very seriously, and we have zero tolerance for little one abuse of any kind,” Providence Go officers explained in a assertion to Information 6. “As a issue of plan and in accordance with point out legal guidelines, Providence Go experiences all suspicions of possible kid abuse to the authorities. We very carefully job interview and screen our staff members and volunteers, and our team is effective to keep baby security procedures based on ideal procedures nationally and Florida Point out legislation.”
College not regulated by Florida DCF
Providence Pass is not controlled by the Florida Office of Young children and Households due to the fact it is a religion-centered boarding faculty.
In its place, residential childcare amenities saying a religious exemption should be registered by means of The Florida Association of Christian Child Caring Businesses, or FACCCA.
Below condition legislation, these types of services ought to offer FACCCA with the names of all staff and “attest to the fantastic moral character” of all those workers members by supplying evidence of compliance with state-mandated qualifications screenings.
FACCCA Executive Director Matthew Higgins did not react to numerous e-mail and voicemails from News 6 inquiring whether Providence Move was adequately registered and had fulfilled screening needs relevant to Rodriguez.
Rodriguez experienced not been charged with any preceding crimes in Florida prior to his current arrest, according to prison record documents attained by News 6 from the Florida Division of Legislation Enforcement.
News 6 could not instantly determine no matter if Rodriguez had ever been arrested in other states.
Neither Del-Giudice nor Providence Pass’s authorized reps responded to unique concerns from News 6, which include regardless of whether other staff users were being inside of the boarding household at the time of Rodriguez’s alleged crimes.
“We think that transparency, child protection, and accountability are important, and we are entirely fully commited to operating in a protected and responsible method,” Providence Go officers said in a statement.
Despite the fact that DCF does not license Providence Go, the condition company was contacted right after abuse allegations surfaced, in accordance to court information.
“The Department investigates all studies of abuse or neglect involving small children who are allegedly maltreated by their moms and dads or caregivers,” a DCF spokesperson instructed News 6. “Investigations are private for each [state law].”
Prosecutors have charged Rodriguez with four counts of lewd and lascivious molestation and a person count of lewd and lascivious perform involving a few teen victims, courtroom data clearly show.
Each and every count is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 decades in jail.
Authorities have advised that prosecutors file two extra counts of little one abuse associated to a fourth alleged victim.
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