2 child sex abuse lawsuits filed against School Board of Miami-Dade County

By Todd Tongen, Reporter, Anchor, ttongen@Local10.com
Published On: Dec 13 2012 02:22:01 PM EST
Updated On: Dec 13 2012 11:03:10 PM EST
Carlos Usatorres
MIAMI -

Two lawsuits were filed against the School Board of Miami-Dade County Thursday, saying the principal of Miami Springs Middle School refused to take action against a teacher who was sexually abusing girls there.

Carlos Usatorres was charged with four counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a child in May but bonded out of jail. He was recently rearrested after reaching out to an alleged victim and the victim's sister, said attorney Jeffrey Herman, who filed the lawsuits.

According to the lawsuits, when each alleged victim was 14 years old, Usatorres, a physical education teacher, engaged the girls in sexual contact inside his office.

"At first I cannot believe it but then they brought me in the room with my daughter and she was crying, totally confused and scared," said the mother of the girls. "He said that he loved her, that he was going to marry her when she turned 21 and they would have children."

Herman contends that Usatorres and the alleged victims were also exchanging messages via Tumblr.

"He says, 'I want to tie you to a bed, blindfold you and start teasing you gently,'" said Herman.

"He was trying to manipulate her that he doesn't want her to go to court and tell the truth," said the mother of the girls.

The principal of the schools found out that Usatorres was having female students change clothes in front of him in his office but took no action against him, according to the lawsuits.

"It was known by the school that this guy was bringing girls into his office where they were changing and he was told to stop it. He did not stop it and eventually sexually abused these girls," said Herman.

Kristi Kasselbaum, Usatorres' attorney, issued a statement about the lawsuits, saying: "Mr. Usatorres has not had contact with the alleged victim in this case and looks forward to his day in court where he believes he will be vindicated."

Because the messages were exchanged on Tumblr from a Wi-Fi hotspot, there is no IP address linking the messages to Usatorres. He is currently in jail and awaiting trial.

The School Board of Miami-Dade County issued no comment on the lawsuits.