PD: Ex-teacher gave girl money, gifts to keep quiet about assaul - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

PD: Ex-teacher gave girl money, gifts to keep quiet about assault

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Samuel Duarte (Source: LVMPD) Samuel Duarte (Source: LVMPD)

A former teacher at a Las Vegas charter school is accused of sexually assaulting a nine-year-old student more than once and giving her cash and gifts to keep quiet about it.

According to jail records, Samuel Duarte, 29, was booked into Clark County Detention Center on Feb. 19 on a count each of sexual assault against a child under 16 and lewdness with a child under 14.

In court documents, police learned of an alleged encounter last November involving Duarte and the female student at the charter school located on Mountain Vista Street. The child's parents became aware when the girl didn't want to go to school one day.

Citing the girl's father, the report stated the girl received money, a cow costume and attention from her teacher, Duarte. The girl's father learned that the child was told not to tell anyone about the gifts and that the teacher "asked her if she wanted to be his daughter at school."

The report then describes the alleged encounter in which the girl tells her dad about sitting next to her teacher one day after class ended and the classroom was vacated of other teachers and students. The report states the child's teacher placed his hand on the girl's leg as part of the process of the assault.

The report also states the father telling detectives that her teacher threatened to kill her if she told anyone about it.

Detectives later interviewed Duarte, who acknowledged giving candy as prizes to students and extending the cow costume to the girl for good behavior.

However, Duarte, in the report, denies the allegations involving the girl. He conceded, though, on occasion to unintentionally touching or rubbing a student's leg.

Detectives arranged for a polygraph test with Duarte, who failed to appear for the exam. Police also stated he was under investigation for a similar incident involving a boy with autism, but the case was closed due to insufficient evidence.

When reached, Mater Academy confirmed Duarte was no longer employed at the school due to this incident. The school also addressed the former teacher in an email sent to parents. It read, in part:

On November 15th we were informed of allegations against Samuel Duarte, special education teacher at Mater Academy. Mr. Duarte was escorted off campus and has not been allowed back on campus pending the outcome of a police investigation. Today, we were informed that Mr. Duarte was arrested and charged. 

The school also said assistance from a social worker and counselors would be available.

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