HIALEAH — One South Florida middle school teacher is accused of having sex with a 14-year-old former student multiple times over the past two months. Another is accused of kissing and fondling a 14-year-old student, police said.
Brittiny Lopez-Murray, 31, who teaches drama at Hialeah Middle School, was still in jail Tuesday after her arrest the night before on charges including lewd and lascivious battery, molestation and engaging in a sex act with a child.
Defense attorneys Landon Ray and Jeff Chukwuma told the Miami Herald they had not yet seen the arrest report on Monday night.
“She is presumed innocent until proven guilty,” Ray said. “We hope everyone is patient, doesn’t rush to judgment and respects the family’s privacy.”
Miami-Dade school district officials said she had no prior disciplinary reports during four years at the school, where she was named “rookie teacher of the year” in 2017.
A police report said Lopez-Murray started the relationship with the teenager in August. The teen used to be her student, but now attends high school.
The police report said the victim’s sister became suspicious of his behavior on Saturday and managed to get his phone, where she saw “explicit text messages and photos” between the teen and Lopez-Murray.
The boy’s father later saw the phone, which had explicit photos that Lopez-Murray had sent, the report said. Text messages detailed “how much they enjoyed the sex with each other.”
The boy was interviewed by Hialeah police. He told investigators Lopez-Murray sent him a text in August and they later met for coffee. He told police that led to multiple sex acts in her car, including in the parking lot at a mall and grocery store.
Lopez-Murray invoked her right to remain silent, police said.
In a statement the school district said it was “saddened and disappointed over these serious allegations given that the district takes great measures to ensure our students are educated in safe learning environments.”
Meanwhile, Miami-Dade police arrested 36-year-old Daniel Fernandez, a teacher at Renaissance Charter Middle School, after he was accused of kissing and fondling a 14-year-old student.
Fernandez was arrested Friday and released from jail on a $7,500 bond after a judge on Saturday ordered him not to have any contact with the victim and stay to away from the school. An arrest report said he confessed to investigators after his arrest, WPLG reported.
A lawyer who could speak on his behalf was not listed on jail records.