NJ teacher raped student at school on his last day of work, cops say
A former music teacher in Ocean City was arrested Sunday on charges of molesting a student, who he forced to perform a sex act on him as part of a "proper goodbye."
Ricardo Valle, 34, was arrested in Seabrook, Texas, on charges of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old female student in the choir room at Ocean City High School in 2016, according to Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey H. Sutherland.
Valle resigned from his position effective July 1, 2016, according to the Ocean City Board of Education meeting minutes of June 22, 2016. No reason was given for his resignation on the agenda, although investigators said in court documents that he told students he was resigning to pursue a master's degree.
According to the criminal complaint, Valle approached the girl during an overnight class field trip to Washington in March and put his head between her buttocks. After the trip, she would hang out with another choir member and Valle in an area of the choir room's storage area nicknamed "La Bodega," which had a futon and refrigerator, according to the complaint.
Valle wrote the girl notes to excuse her from class in order to come to the choir room and on at least 10 occasions put his arm around her, rubbed her buttocks and played with her bra strap, according to the complaint.
The assault occurred on the last day of school when choir members learned that Valle was not returning as teacher in order to pursue a master's program, according to the complaint. Investigators said that as the girl's friends were leaving, she agreed to his request to stay behind so he could "give her a proper goodbye."
According to the complaint, Valle pushed her onto the futon, took off her shirt and kissed her left breast so hard he left bruises. As she laid on the futon "confused," Valle forced the girl to her knees and forced her to perform a sex act, the complaint says. The girl pushed Valle away and left the room as he "begged her to let him finish," investigators said in the court filing.
Capt. Mike Emmer of the Cape May Prosecutor's Office told New Jersey 101.5 that Valle was a teacher in Texas at the time of his arrest.
He was charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault, one count of second-degree official misconduct, one count of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child and one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual contact, a crime of the fourth degree. He was being held Tuesday at the Harris County, Texas jail pending extradition hearings.
Sutherland asked anyone with information about the 2016 assault to call his office at 609-525-9131.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ