The dean of students at Boston’s James P. Timilty Middle School is charged with statutory rape of a 15-year-old former student.
Manuel Mendes, 38, of Hyde Park, is charged with four counts of aggravated statutory rape of a child. The dean of students at the middle school in Roxbury pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Monday morning in West Roxbury District Court, and Judge Catherine Ham ordered him held on $35,000 bail.
Assistant District Attorney Amanda Paull said during his arraignment that law enforcement became aware in March when the Suffolk district attorney’s office “received a tip that the defendant who was the dean of students at the Timilty school was having sex with a 15-year-old former student.”
The Boston Police Department and the DA’s office investigated, and in November the girl “disclosed several rapes of a child starting in February of that year and continuing through until the early summer,” Paull said.
The DA’s office said the girl allowed police to access her phone, and they found correspondence between the two, including a video of them both in the bedroom of his Hyde Park home. Police obtained a warrant for the $750,000 home on Friday and arrested Mendes, prosecutors said. There, officers found cell phones for which the girl had provided “two or three” numbers by which she reached Mendes, Paull said.
The prosecutor said Mendes was still the dean of the students for the Timilty as of Friday — though if he makes bail now, he will be under GPS monitoring and has been told to not to go near the school. He’s also forbidden from going to the girl’s home.
Boston Public Schools said in a statement Monday, “On Friday, December 11, we were informed of the arrest of a staff member on deeply troubling charges. The staff member was immediately placed on paid administrative leave. We will continue to cooperate with the Boston Police Department and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in their active investigation of these horrific allegations every step of the way.”
Court documents for this case were impounded, as is common for cases with allegations of sexual assault.
Mendes’ lawyer described him as a “pillar of the community” who intends to testify in his own defense in an effort to clear his name.
“These allegations are incredibly disturbing,” Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins said. “Students are placed in the care of teachers and educators and providers that are mandated reporters and tasked with protection and education.This man is over twice the age of his victim. We need better protections in place for our students. The allegations against Mr. Mendes completely dishonor his profession and the overwhelming majority of teachers, educators and providers in schools that help, teach, and nurture children and young people.”
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