Postal service worker Mark Chappelle of West Palm Beach, Florida was arrested on January 12 for allegedly sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl.
Chappelle, 50, is charged with one count of lewd and lascivious battery on a minor younger than 16. He was held at Palm Beach County Jail on $25,000 bond and was released on January 20 after posting bail. Attorney information was not available.
According to the police report, the alleged incident occurred on July 17, 2017 at an apartment building in unincorporated Palm Beach Gardens. Details in the police report are heavily redacted due to the alleged crime’s nature. However, it indicates that the victim was familiar with Chappelle because he regularly delivered mail at the complex.
Police were informed of the alleged battery by an unidentified adult who lives with the victim, the report said. A witness told investigators that Chappelle was at the apartment complex swimming pool teaching a child how to swim when the teenager arrived with a friend.
Chappelle lost interest in the child and “became focused” on the teenager, according to the witness. He purportedly took hold of the teen from behind and then dove into the swimming pool with her. He also jumped on top of the victim while she was on a pool float, the witness said.
Chappelle allegedly put his hand inside the teen’s bathing suit and tried to force the victim to touch him sexually. A sexual battery test revealed that the victim suffered superficial abrasions and redness, the report said.
When questioned by investigators about the allegations, Chappelle said the incident never happened and said he was going to sue whomever made the accusations, the report said. A spokesperson for U.S. Postal Service confirmed that Chappelle was an assigned mail carrier in unincorporated Palm Beach Gardens. It is unclear if he is still works for the postal service.
Another lewd and lascivious battery incident involving a minor was reported in Miami two weeks ago. Valeria Costadoni of Miami was arrested on Jan. 8 after being accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with a student for over two years.
Costadoni, 30, taught language arts at the Miami Arts Charter School. She faces two counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a minor younger than 16. She was held on $15,000 bond and was released the following day. The press did not name an attorney for her.
According to the police report, the student told detectives that he had sex with Costadoni on several occasions over the past two years. He said the relationship began when he was 15 years old and was “consensual.”
Costadoni and the student reportedly had sex inside a classroom at the school, in her vehicle, at the victim’s home, and at her home on at least four occasions. Police became aware of the alleged relationship in October last year. It is unclear why they waited so long before charging and arresting Costadoni.