Miami-Dade County teacher Wendell Alfredo Nibbs was arrested on November 28 for allegedly committing sexual battery on a student. Nibbs taught physical education at Brownsville Middle School. He was fired after his arrest.
Nibbs, 51, faces two counts of sexual battery on a familial child, which means he had custodial care of the child he allegedly battered. He was booked into Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center and was denied bond. The press did not name an attorney for him.
According to news sources, school board police started investigating Nibbs in 2015 after he was accused of engaging in inappropriate sexual activity with female students between 12 and 18 years of age.
A 15-year-old student reportedly told police that she had sex with Nibbs in his classroom during school hours and sent him nude pictures through a chat app. Nibbs purportedly asked her not to tell anyone about their relationship and she ultimately moved to another school.
A 14-year-old student told investigators that Nibbs asked her to show him her genitals three years ago, sources say. The teacher allegedly took her into a classroom in 2015 and attempted to have sex with her. When the girl refused and kicked and screamed, Nibbs reportedly threatened her with bodily harm.
Sources say police interviewed four other students who told similar stories from 2004 to 2013. It is unclear why the school allowed Nibbs to continue teaching. He denied all the allegations.
A statement from the Miami-Dade County Public Schools said Nibbs was fired after his arrest.
“Miami-Dade County Public Schools will not tolerate actions by employees that endanger or violate the safety of children. Our highest priority is to protect their physical and emotional well-being,” the statement said. “The allegations against the employee are unconscionable and do not comport with the standard of excellence and integrity of our workforce. He is no longer an M-DCPS employee.”
Rape or sexual assault is defined as sexual intercourse that is forced on another against the person’s will or without their consent. Sexual battery is a lesser form of this crime and is defined as sexual contact or touching that does not involve sexual intercourse but is still a criminal offense. The younger the victim, the more severe the offense and therefore the worse the penalties.
Sexual battery is one of the most serous charges a person can face for two reasons. First, the penalties for a sexual battery conviction are severe. In Florida, the penalties for a conviction include life in prison, fines, or both. Offenders are required to serve at least 25 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole. Second, simply being accused of sexual battery carries enormous social stigma and may even result in registration as a sex offender.
For these reasons, it is essential for a defendant to secure a competent attorney as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer will thoroughly investigate the case, assert possible defenses, and guide the defendant through the criminal justice system to ensure they get the best possible outcome.