MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Broward teacher is facing several charges Tuesday after being accused of having sex with a minor.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office says Venorrice Wells, 31, committed a sexual assault on someone who is someone who is 16 or 17 years old in the back of his parked vehicle on July 11 in Lauderdale Lakes.
The arrest report indicates the victim told a friend about the incident and that the friend reported it to authorities.
The Broward School System says Wells has been a science teacher at Dillard High School since August of 2015.
Sergeant Michele McCardle with the Broward Sheriff’s Office says Wells gave the teenage girl a ride home earlier this month and engaged in sex acts with her in his SUV.
“He groomed her and gained her confidence and this incident occurred,” Sgt. McCardle said.
McCardle says a friend of the victim learned about the incident called detectives.
“She subsequently picked up the phone and did the right thing, reported it right away to police and that’s how we were able to start investigating this so quickly and put it to a close so quickly, make an arrest right away,” McCardle said.
Wells’ arrest report said there was a prior allegation of sexual misconduct against him in a previous school year but the allegation was unfounded. In this case, detectives say Wells admitted to touching the girl.
“He advised that he did engage in sexual activity with that juvenile,” said BSO Det. Ryan Schnakenberg.
Investigators are concerned that there might be additional victims.
“We’re asking that parents speak to their children to determine if they’ve had any inappropriate contact with him in the past and call us right away if they have any information,” McCardle said.
Wells told police the girl told him she was 19 years of age.
Wells faces two counts of unlawful sexual activity with minors and one count offense against students by authority figures.
Bond for Wells was set at $60,000. He was ordered to have no contact with the teenage victim and once released, he’ll have to wear a GPS monitor.
A spokeswoman for Broward Public Schools says the district is working with law enforcement and says Wells will be reassigned to a work location away from students this coming school year, pending the investigation.
CBS4’s Peter D’Oench spoke with a member of Wells’s family and she told him he is a “Wonderful person.”