Substitute teacher Vernell Hicks of Pompano Beach, Florida was arrested on August 23 for allegedly performing oral sex on a 15-year-old boy he met at Crystal Lakes Middle School.
Hicks, 30, is charged with multiple felony counts of lewd and lascivious molestation, behavior and conduct on a victim 12 to 16 years of age. He is being held in lieu of $150,000 bond. He has been ordered not to access the internet or contact the victim or any other minors. It is unclear if he has acquired legal representation.
According to the arrest report, police learned about Hicks’ alleged actions after the victim’s mother informed them about the explicit messages he sent to her son on Facebook. Hicks was the alleged victim’s substitute teacher two years ago. He helped the teen create a Facebook account, the report said.
Hicks and the teen allegedly had several conversations through Facebook, spanning from June 2017 until August 22. The one the victim’s mother saw reportedly involved Hicks coordinating when he would perform sex acts on the 15-year-old boy.
When questioned by police, the victim said they started communicating on Facebook. Hicks picked him up from his home on multiple occasions and drive him to commercial warehouse areas, where he would perform oral sex on him, the victim reportedly claimed. He and Hicks met for sexual encounters on six different occasions, according to the report.
Hicks initially denied the allegations, but later confessed to performing oral sex on the boy on one occasion, the report said.
Hicks began working as substitute teacher for Broward County Public Schools in 2015. He taught at Crystal Lake Middle School until early 2017 and has been teaching at Pompano Beach Middle School from July 2017 to the present. A spokesperson for the school district told the press that Hicks has since been fired from his position.
Another incident of lewd and lascivious conduct involving a teacher and an underage student was reported two weeks ago in Davie, Florida. Former school teacher and camp counselor Christopher Lawrence Falzone was taken into police custody on August 13 for allegedly molesting an underage girl who attended a summer camp where he worked.
Falzone, 35, is being charged with multiple felony counts of lewd and lascivious molestation. He is being held in lieu of $25,000 bond and is prohibited from having contact with the victim or any other minors. The press did not name an attorney for him.
According to the arrest report, Falzone met the victim at Camp Live Oak in Dania Beach between June 11 and August 3. Police learned about Falzone’s alleged relationship with the victim from her mother, who overheard her daughter talking to a man on the phone. The victim’s mother saw Falzone’s name listed in the call history, the report said.
She called the police after her daughter admitted that Falzone touched her inappropriately on several occasions during camp field trips.
Falzone was a substitute teacher for Broward County Public Schools from October 2008 to October 2013. He currently works a full-time teacher at Renaissance Charter School at Cooper City.
Florida Lewd or Lascivious Battery Attorney
If you are involved in a lewd or lascivious battery case, then you should hire an attorney. Contact us to set up a free initial consultation and work with one of Florida’s most experienced sexual battery attorneys.