Former South Broward High School band director Ricardo Esquilin is accused of starting a sexual relationship with a student.
Esquilin, 28, is charged with sexual battery on a minor and sexual assault by a custodian. The press did not name an attorney for him.
According to the arrest affidavit, Esquilin, a South Broward alumnus, began his job as band director in August 2017. He reportedly resigned from his position earlier this year for “personal reasons.” Sources reveal that the reason was the investigation into his alleged relationship with a student, which began during winter break after the student contacted the police.
The student told investigators that their relationship started when she went to Esquilin, who was like a mentor, for consoling after she broke up with her boyfriend. Esquilin purportedly took her off campus to get ice cream and talk. He told her not to let their relationship affect her decision to leave her boyfriend.
After the student ended her relationship with her boyfriend in November 2018, she and Esquilin began a sexual relationship. They had sex on several occasions in different places, including their homes and the band room at the school. Esquilin even allegedly gave the student birth control pills because “they have a lot of sex.”
On January 4, the student reportedly told Esquilin over the phone that her mother had seen their text messages and a condom. Police were listening to the call, according to the affidavit.
“Defendant Esquilin repeatedly apologized for not being strong enough and for being weak,” the affidavit said. “Victim One apologized for being honest and told him she doesn’t want him to be arrested. Defendant Esquilin stated, ‘It doesn’t matter what your mother wants, to press charges or not, it still happened’ and ‘It has nothing to do with plans, it’s the law.’”
When questioned by investigators, Esquilin reportedly blamed the student for initiating their sexual relationship. He said he knows it was wrong and there most likely will be consequences, but he “does not regret being in a relationship with his student,” the affidavit read.
South Broward High School intern principal Patricia Brown sent the following email to the parents of students acknowledging Esquilin’s arrest:
“Greetings, South Broward Family. This is Mrs. Brown Principal Intern, calling to inform you of the recent arrest of our former band director. This matter was brought to us by the Hollywood Police Department, who notified us of an investigation and proceeded to work with out district’s Special Investigative Unit. Our school staff, district staff and the authorities will continue to work collaboratively regarding this matter.”
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