MIAMI(CBSMiami) — For the first time, a South Florida teenager who was the victim of a statutory rape by her former high school teacher is speaking out as her attorney has filed a lawsuit against the teacher and the Miami-Dade School Board.READ MORE: Broward School Board Reverses Mask Mandate, Complies With Ron DeSantis
That teacher plead guilty in September to unlawful sexual activity with minors and the victim and her attorney say the school system failed to ensure her safety and they say that teacher should have been monitored more carefully because he was accused in 2008 of inappropriately texting another teenage student.
“It’s been so hard and I just can’t let this happen to anyone else because of what I went through,” said the victim. “No one should ever go through that.”
CBS4 did not show all of the victim’s face nor revealed her name in order to protect her identity. She is now 17-years old and is speaking about her former geometry teacher at South Dade Senior H.S. in Homestead: 33-year-old Bresniell Jansen. An Instagram photo from the school shows him in handcuffs when he was arrested at the school on January 9th.
Court records show that he plead guilty in September to three counts of unlawful sexual activity with minors and two counts of electronic transmission of material harmful to minors. Police said he admitted to the sex acts and exchanging nude pictures with the victim.
The victim told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that she feels, “destroyed, completely emotionally and mentally in every possible way.”
She says Jansen lured her into sex acts in his classroom when she was 16-years old.
Attorney John Leighton who filed the lawsuit told D’Oench, “On December 20th of 2013, Bresnniel Jansen took the virginity of one of his students on his desk inside a classroom at South Dade High School. This followed months of inappropriate communication, sexting, touching, digital and oral sex.”
Leighton said the victim was, “subjected to sexual battery, raped, traumatized, humiliated and caused to suffer mental pain and suffering. He said the School Board ‘owed a duty’
to ensure the victim’s safety, care, health and well being” and should have known that Jansen was dangerous and failed to train school employees to identify when an inappropriate sexual relationship was happening.
“I saw him as a figure of authority,” said the victim. “I thought everything he said had to be done. They are there to teach you right from wrong, not there to force you to do something.”
Leighton said the School Board failed to protect the victim and noted that another student in 2008 said Jansen sent her inappropriate texts. The school system found no probable cause to support a sex harassment claim. Jansen kept his job.
“I can’t believe that that type of person was in the school,” said the victim, “especially around minors especially.”
Her mother said, “At this point I feel really sad, really bad. My message is to be careful kids.”READ MORE: Miami Weather: Sweltering Summer Temps Will Develop Into Stormy Day
The victim added, “Be aware of your surroundings and just don’t trust easily.”
She said she sees a psychotherapist weekly.
“Any parent of a student in Miami-Dade ought to be really really concerned and really scared and people who aren’t parents ought to be outraged,” said Leighton. He said Jansen had a propensity for “grooming targets” for inappropriate conduct.
“He wore shirts that showed his muscles to class and tried to impress these young students that he was good looking,” said Leighton.
“To let a teacher back in a classroom without any kid of supervision after there has already been a suggestion, an accusation of inappropriate contact with a young female, a young student, this is outrageous. Then to leave a teacher alone in a classroom with young girls when we know he has a propensity to make inappropriate contact and then put him in a room that has no visible surveillance and allows for locked doors and then let him do what he wants with students, that is something that needs to be stopped,” said Leighton.
“The School Board dropped the ball and does not seem to care what happens to my client,” said Leighton. “They didn’t do a reasonable investigation into this and this guy’s background and did not do a reasonable job in his supervision and they obviously didn’t train the people in the school to keep an eye out for this man who had his own fiefdom. He was able to have unsupervised time with a student over many months where nobody could enter the room and he had a locked door where he did his dirty deeds.”
“Jansen did something in 2008 and he was caught and nothing happened and then it wasn’t until much later in 2014 when he was finally arrested and fired,” Leighton said. “But how many other kids did he have inappropriate contacts with? How many other kids did he touch?”
The victim, after Jansen was arrested at South Dade Sr. H.S., was allowed to transfer to Felix Varela Sr. High School but she said she was horrified to discover that Jansen lived near the school.
“On my first day at the school, I saw him outside in the area and I was scared and terrified. I remember giving my Mom a call and telling her I never want to come here again.”
The victim said she was home schooled after that and was able to get her high school diploma. She said she is now in college and because of her trauma is determined to become a psychologist when she finishes college.
Jansen is now a registered sex offender with a mandatory court imposed curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. CBS4 was not able to reach Jansen for comment about the lawsuit.
D’Oench also reached out to the School Board for comment.
Miami-Dade Public Schools spokesman John Schuster said in a statement, “The school district does not comment on pending litigation.”
Leighton also showed us a letter he sent on October 28th of this year asking Assistant School Board Attorney Cristina Rivera and Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho for a meeting about this case. But he said they never got back to him.MORE NEWS: Elderly Dogs Abandoned In Pembroke Pines Get New Leash On Life
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