A high school business-technology teacher who allegedly invited an underage student on a trip to France, asking her to be his “teenage bride,” was arrested.
On Thursday, John Teti, 41, a teacher at Northeast High School in Oakland Park, Fla., was charged with “being an authority figure soliciting or engaging in a romantic relationship,” according to Miami news station WPLG.
A complaint affidavit sent to Yahoo Lifestyle by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office states that Teti tried to “solicit a romantic, lewd and sexual relationship” with the 16-year-old student between October and December, until her father called the police.
When the school discovered Teti was engaging in “inappropriate communication” with his students via the app Remind Me, says the affidavit, he was ordered to keep a “professional and ethical distance” from the children. However, Teti continued the group chat via private text message.
A @NortheastHigh @browardschools teacher arrested by @browardsheriff for trying to solicit a romantic relationship with an underage student 41 year old John Teti behind bars @WPLGLocal10 pic.twitter.com/kuCuPaZN3p
— Todd Tongen (@TTongenWPLG) February 1, 2019
The police say Teti was fixated on one teenager, “grooming” her for a sexual relationship — vaping with her alone, offering her rides to school and taking her to McDonald’s. He also suggested she skip class to hang out with him and offered his private tutoring services. In text communication with the teen, police say Teti used “immature” language to sound young.
Teti allegedly wrote in late-night text messages to the girl, “If my wife were to suddenly die, would you be my teenage bride?” … “We should spend all summer together” and said he called his wife by the girl’s name during sex. “…Is that weird?” he typed.
Over the next few months, the teen allegedly asked him twice to stop, telling her friend that Teti was “creepy.” In November, Teti allegedly texted that he tried to “stalk” the girl after class. “I think you’re just avoiding me because you’re afraid that if you’re near me for too long, you won’t be able to control yourself and you’re just going to attempt to start making out with me,” he wrote, according to the affidavit.
In December, Teti sent the girl multiple text messages stating that he missed her and was trying to control his urge to connect. “If I never get to tell you again, I f***ing love you,” he allegedly wrote. “Not romantically, of course.”
A few days later, Teti allegedly summoned the girl to his classroom, to which she brought her friend. In a supply closet with the two teens, Teti hugged the victim tight — which she told police felt “awkward” — saying, “I know you’re probably not going to like this, but I missed you so much!”
Teti found the victim’s address and allegedly sent her a package of snacks and notes, which made her feel panicked and “overwhelmed.” According to the affidavit, the teenager’s siblings sent Teti a Facebook message telling him to stop, and he replied the girl was a “troubled child” and he was only being a friend.
During a phone call with the teen, Teti expressed worry over potential statutory rape charges and mentioned that in France it’s legal to wed at age 15. “‘She [his wife] doesn’t have to know, we can fly to France,” Teti said in the affidavit. In that conversation, he also discussed his penis size and sexual stamina.
On Dec. 30, according to the affidavit, the siblings told their father about Teti, and he accused Teti of pedophilia. Teti allegedly said the girl was his “work buddy” and the texts were a “joke.”
On Thursday, Teti told police he had a “special bond and relationship” with the victim and admitted to writing all text messages. Miami news station WSVN reports that Teti’s bond is $50,000.
A spokeswoman from Broward County School District tells Yahoo Lifestyle that Teti was terminated on Thursday and escorted off the campus by police. She confirmed that Teti was hired as a substitute teacher in March and became a full-time business technology teacher in April.
Teti did not respond when called for comment by Yahoo Lifestyle.
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle: