John Farrell, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida high school teacher, was arrested Monday for an alleged sexual relationship with one of his 16-year-old students, news sources report. Farrell, 25, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on 20 counts of unlawful sexual activity involving a minor. A judge ordered that he be held in lieu of $50,000 bail bond. The press did not specify a lawyer for Farrell.
Reports say Farrell works for Cardinal Gibbons High School, a private Roman Catholic institution. Farrell has been on the staff as a math and statistics teacher for only one year. According to a spokesperson for the school, Farrell “successfully participated in the full background screening process and VIRTUS training required by the Archdiocese of Miami’s Safe Environment Policy prior to his employment for the 2012-2013 school year.” The school has placed Farrell on unpaid leave until the case is resolved, and has also notified all parents about the case via email, reports say.
Sources indicate that the sexual relationship between Farrell and the victim began in March. The victim and Farrell allegedly met during afterschool activities. The pair also allegedly had sex numerous times at Farrell’s apartment in Lauderdale-by-the-Seas. The purported relationship ended on May 25 for reasons not specified in reports.
It is not clear how the case initially came to the attention of law enforcement. However, it appears as though the victim cooperated with authorities during the investigation that followed. The victim reportedly called Farrell while detectives listened in, and Farrell reportedly admitted to having sex with the victim and asked her to keep quiet about the relationship. Farrell decided to maintain his right to be silent following his arrest, sources say.
Farrell isn’t the only Florida man to be accused of sexual misconduct with a minor this past week. Ramon Renfro of Pace was arrested Friday after he was accused of providing teens with alcohol, then sexually assaulting and tattooing them, sources report. Renfro, 38, was booked into the Santa Rosa County Jail on two counts of lewd and lascivious behavior, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, battery, and sexual assault. His bail was set at $203,000. It is unclear whether he qualified for legal representation.
According to reports, the assaults occurred during a camping trip the teens took to Webb Landing and Keyser Landing in Chumuckla. It is unclear whether Renfro was accompanying the victims on the trip as a chaperone or if he met them there. Reports did not provide the names and ages of the victims.
Renfro allegedly started by giving the teenagers alcohol. When two girls became drunk, Renfro allegedly sexually assaulted them. Following the assault, Renfro tattooed two of the victims, reports say. One of the tattoos depicted a barcode and the word “slave,” sources say. It is not clear whether Renfro is qualified to give tattoos.
Detectives tracked Renfro down to his home and placed him under arrest Friday. According to reports, Renfro has been booked into the country jail every year since 2009, though the nature of these prior arrests are not currently available.