Lexington, South Carolina: Wednesday, May 12, 43-year-old Hianlucas Isturiz Rodriguez pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct with a minor in the third degree in a Lexington County General Sessions Court.
Eleventh Circuit Chief Administrative Judge Walton J. McLeod IV awarded Rodriguez the maximum possible sentence of 15 years in prison following the plea.
Rodriguez was initially charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor in the first degree according to the South Carolina State Board of Educations order of permanent revocation from December 8, 2020.
He had worked as an educator for more than five years, and had worked as a Spanish language immersion teacher at Red Bank Elementary School between 2014 and 2017 when the assaults took place.
In April 2017 a 6-year-old girl told her parents that Rodriguez had been inappropriately touching her at school and that the assaults had started at the beginning of the school year, lasting until Spring Break when she came forward to her parents.
School officials were notified and immediately began an investigation in partnership with the Lexington County Sheriff's Department.
Rodriguez was notified that he was being placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into allegations of unprofessional conduct at which time he fled for Ecuador.
It was not until the Summer of 2019 that he was once again apprehended. He was finally extradited to the United States in December 2019.
Once he is released, he will be required to register as a sex offender and be subject to electronic monitoring. He will additionally be facing deportation back to his native country of Venezuela.