SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – A former social studies teacher at Coral Reef High School is facing two felony charges over an alleged romantic relationship with one of his students.
According to Miami-Dade Police, an allegation was made against 39-year-old Rafael Birriel back in June 2019 that stated that he was romantically involved with one of his students.
Investigators said they met with the victim, and she said she was romantically involved with the teacher for one year, and the relationship became physical on one occasion.
Police said most of the conversations between Birriel and the student took place on the social media app Discord.
After obtaining a copy of these chats, detectives said, they learned Birriel tried to persuade the student to send “erotic nude and racy photos” of herself, and he described sexual acts that he would like to do with her.
Police said one of the conversations described an encounter Birriel had with the student at the school where he “kissed her and grabbed her buttocks over her clothes after the kiss.”
Investigators were able to confirm it was Birriel on the other side of the conversation.
Birriel turned himself in to police on Monday. He faces felony charges of prohibited computer usage and offenses against students by authority figures.
He was taken to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in West Miami-Dade.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools officials said Birriel was removed from his position as soon as the allegations were made, and he will soon be fired from the school district after being part of it for more than 13 years.
Parents of Coral Reef students said they were stunned by the allegations but added the school acted appropriately and made the right decision.
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