20-year veteran teacher charged with sexual battery on a student

Jeanette Valle-Tejeda, 41, of Hialeah, Florida. [Image credit: Miami-Dade County Corrections]

The investigation into a 20-year veteran teacher began after a single former student came forward to report that she had been sexually abused beginning in 2009 when she was a 14-year-old student at Henry H. Filer Middle School and continued until she graduated from Westland Hialeah Senior High at 18-years-old.


Since the first student came forward investigators have identified two other believed victims who all share very similar stories.


The Miami-Dade County Public School district issued a statement once news of the arrest of 41-year-old Jeanette Valle-Tejeda broke saying, "Miami-Dade County Public Schools is deeply disturbed about the allegations made against this individual. As soon as the claims surfaced last month, the employee was removed form the school setting and Miami-Dade Schools Police launched an investigation. The District will be terminating her employment and she will be prevented from seeking future work with this school system."


Valle-Tejeda is in custody in the Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation center where she is being held without bond on 23 charges including two counts of sexual battery on a minor by an adult, two counts of unlawful sexual activity with a specified minor, two counts of luring or enticing a child, one count of child abuse and three counts of tampering with physical evidence. In total, she has been charged with 18 felonies and 5 misdemeanors.


Monday, March 29 a written plea of not guilty was entered into the court records as well as a demand for trial by jury and a waiving of the pre-trial conference by her defense attorney Daniel Izquierdo.


According to the arrest report, investigators learned that it was not uncommon for Valle-Tejeda to excuse her victims from instruction and would sometimes sign them out of school entirely without their parents knowledge. Investigators learned that the first student to report the abuse Valle-Tejeda and missed 11 days together.


The three students identified at this time have shared similar stories of Valle-Tejeda's behavior towards them.  At times she would reportedly open her home to them to sleep over and sometimes, according to a parent that complained in 2018, allegedly offer them alcohol as well. Her home was, according to one of the victims, known among her classmates as a "hang out" spot.


One student told that during those frequent times staying overnight the two would shower together and engage in sexual acts.


The arrest report stated that Valle-Tejeda "groomed the victim as a mother figure, providing financial assistance and others needs."


According to WPLG, the youngest victim identified at this time was 11-years-old. This victim echoed what the first one had experienced telling investigators that she and Valle-Tejeda "were involved in a romantic relationship when she was eleven years old. The offender took advantage of the fact that Ms. [redacted] was constantly disagreeing with her parents and stepped in as a mother figure."


Court records have not yet been updated to show when she is next scheduled to appear before Judge Joseph D. Perkins.