Advertisement

Broward private school teacher sought to ‘corrupt’ student with sexual advances, feds say

A teacher at a Broward Catholic private school sexually assaulted a teenage student during an out-of-state field trip, say federal prosecutors. Court documents indicate that he may have groomed the girl for months.

Boris Fernando Bastidas, 35, was arrested Thursday and is charged with coercing or enticing a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity and traveling in interstate commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct.

He appeared in Fort Lauderdale federal court Thursday morning. Courts records indicate that he’s being held in pre-trial detention. It wasn’t immediately clear if he had retained an attorney.

According to a criminal complaint, Bastidas maintained an inappropriate romantic and sexual relationship with the 15-year-old girl from July 2023 through February.

Bastidas was a teacher at Chaminade-Madonna College Preparatory, a private Catholic school in Hollywood. According to a post on the school’s Instagram, he was the school’s social studies department chair — and the 2023 Educator of the Year.

Bastidas fell on the radar of FBI Miami Field Office agents after the girl’s mother reported an allegation of statutory rape on Feb. 12. The teenager told investigators that Bastidas was her freshman year teacher and that they grew close when she asked him for advice.

The following day, agents searched the girl’s phone, the complaint states. The girl said she communicated with Bastidas through their school email accounts, but they later moved their conversations to their personal emails and phones.

‘Youre not just a student..’

When interviewing school administrators, agents uncovered that the school had received multiple Instagram messages tipping them off about allegations of a sexual relationship between Bastidas and the student, according to the complaint. The messages instructed the school to review deleted emails dating back to July 2023.

Administrators were able to recover the exchanges and saved them onto a USB flash drive they provided to the FBI, the complaint says. They also stated that they met with Bastidas about the tips, and he denied the allegations.

Bastidas later met with the administrators again, and they read out several of the emails he had sent, according to the court documents. During that meeting, Bastidas called the emails an “error in judgment.”

“Youre one of the best students ive had, so I can’t judge you,” Bastidas wrote to the girl. “But youre not just a student at this point.”

The court documents didn’t make clear exactly when that meeting with administrators took place. But in a statement, head of School Judith Mucheck said the school acted quickly:

“When we became aware of the allegations we conducted an investigation and he was terminated immediately.”

In one of the messages between the pair, which were included in the complaint, the student pointed out the issues that can arise from talking through the school email.

“Do you think it’s a wise move to write this on our school accounts?” she said.

“Probably not,” Bastidas responded.

In their frequent exchanges, Bastidas and the girl discussed meeting up, court documents show. The teen said the only way Bastidas could see her during the summer was when she was working at Publix, but he said that was “the dangerous and not so smart thing to try and do.”

That, however, didn’t stop Bastidas, according to the complaint. He continued planning to see the girl and instructed her to have someone pick her up late.

“I suppose not making it too late won’t cause too many questions,” he said in a message.

Bastidas and the teen referenced meeting up, kissing and holding hands at a Dunkin’ Donuts. But their conversations, records show, turned increasingly sexual.

Messages — and the girl’s statement — revealed that Bastidas sexually assaulted the teen during a school field trip to New York, according to the complaint.

The 15-year-old girl, agents say, had taken photos of herself and sent them to the teacher. Bastidas had also provided the teen with gifts, including a bracelet, necklace, t-shirts and a keychain.

“I’m going to truly “corrupt” you...” Bastidas wrote in one of the messages.