MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A former secretary at a high school in Miami-Dade County was arrested Wednesday on accusations that she tried to pursue a romantic relationship with a student.
According to her arrest report, Vanessa Vigil, 35, worked at Miami Killian Senior High School, located at 10655 SW 97th Ave.
Miami-Dade Schools police say the victim told officers that Vigil had been “very flirtatious” with him for about three weeks, asking him for his phone number, calling him “handsome,” touching him inappropriately and telling him “I love you.”
According to the arrest report, on Sept. 21, the victim, who works as a student office aide, dropped his pencil on the floor and bent over to pick it up, at which time Vigil stood behind him and began tapping on his lower back with her nails.
Police said Vigil told the victim, “I would have bagged you if I was in high school with you.”
Parents and others with ties to the school were shocked to hear the allegations.
“It’s pretty disturbing. It’s disturbing, but it happens with people in power roles — it happens a lot,” said Sean Olivera, whose wife works at the school.
The victim told officers that later in the day Vigil gave him a “dirty pizza slice key chain” that was attached to her house keys and then asked him for his phone number in front of another student.
The other student corroborated the incident to police, authorities said.
According to the report, the next day, Vigil caressed the student’s face using both her hands when he went to the office to exchange his school laptop, telling him he was “so handsome and your face is smooth.”
Police said another student witnessed that incident, as well.
According to the report, Vigil once again caressed the victim’s face later in the day while they were in the assistant principal’s office wing and told him, “I am in love with you.”
The victim told police that he was uncomfortable and didn’t know what to say, so he left the room.
According to the report, on that same day, Vigil asked the student to follow her to a storage closet in the main office.
As the student walked behind her, Vigil “placed her hands on her buttocks and looked back at him and smiled,” the report stated.
The victim said once they were in the room, which he described as small and dark, she placed her hand on his chest and said, “You should get out of here before I do something I’m not supposed to do.”
He said she then leaned forward as if to kiss him, so he took a step back.
According to the report, as the two were walking, Vigil began to caress the victim’s right arm.
She later rubbed his hand and once again asked for his phone number, which he declined to give her, authorities said.
Police said she then blew a kiss toward the victim as he left the office.
The victim told police he was very uncomfortable and went to the bathroom after the incident where he had a panic attack.
“I’m just shocked. I never imagined that that would happen here at the school,” said Andrea Santos, a parent.
Vigil was taken into custody Wednesday at her home.
According to the report, she admitted to giving the boy the pizza key chain, but claimed that he was the one who would flirt with her.
“I like (the victim) as that cool kid that I would like to shoot the s*** with,” Vigil told police, according to the report.
Police said Vigil denied trying to groom the victim and claimed that she never asked for his phone number.
She faces five charges of battery and offenses against a student.
Local 10 News spoke to Vigil through the door of her nearby apartment Thursday, but she didn’t have too much to say about the incident.
“Is there any truth to these allegations?” asked Local 10 News reporter Cody Weddle.
“I don’t have any comment. It’s not true,” Vigil replied.
Police told Local 10 News that they have obtained security camera footage of at least one of the incidents and other students at the school witnessed Vigil’s alleged behavior toward the student.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools told Local 10 News that Vigil was no longer working at the school at the time of her arrest.
They released the following statement Thursday about the allegations:
Miami-Dade County Public Schools is deeply troubled by the disturbing allegations made against this former employee. M-DCPS cooperated with the authorities during the investigation of this former employee. This type of comportment will not be tolerated as it runs contrary to the professional conduct we expect from all employees.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools