Miami teacher Eric Givens was arrested on May 5, 2023, amid allegations he molested a former student multiple times and had inappropriate contact with another former student from two separate schools. Detectives believe he was connected to two separate incidents with underage girls, one of them involving rape. Givens, 29, was charged with seven counts of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child, seven counts of battery, and one count of offenses against students by authority figures, arrest reports said. The two victims on record came into contact with Givens as students at the Theodore R. and Thelma A. Gibson Charter School in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood and at St. Mary’s Cathedral School in Miami’s Little River neighborhood, according to police. At the time of his arrest, Givens was a coach at Scheck Hillel Community School in Northeast Miami-Dade. He was fired after his arrest. Givens previously worked at Givens worked at South Miami Senior High.
According to media reports, on May, 20023 a female student told a school counselor she was molested and raped by her teacher, Givens, when she was in 5th grade at Cathedral of St. Mary’s School in Miami in 2019. The girl told authorities that Givens would hold her back in the classroom after everyone left, pull her hair back and grab her wrist to the point that she would bruise, the report said. The girl told investigators the sexual abuse happened “almost every day” and ended a few months before the school year ended. After he was taken into custody, Givens denied the allegations and said he didn’t know the victim but gave inconsistent statements, initially saying he only taught 4th grade but then advising that he taught 5th grade as well. Givens was fired from that school after being accused of sending inappropriate messages to a student.
The second alleged victim, a 10-year-old girl, was a former 3rd-grade student of Givens’ at Theodore R. and Thelma A. Gibson Charter School in Miami. She said she messaged Givens on March 3 about students not passing to 3rd grade, then said she started receiving messages from Givens that said, “I wanna see you again,” “Always wanted to date you,” and “Oh wow, I wanna see you bad,” the report said. Givens also sent her a photo showing himself wearing only boxer briefs, the report said.
During an audio and video recorded statement, Givens admitted he was in possession of his cellphone when he was texting the 10-year-old girl, but he defended himself by stating that he believed he was messaging the girl’s mother, despite the girl identifying herself several times while they texted each other. Givens was arrested and booked into jail, and during a court appearance, he was ordered held without bond.
Schools are educational institutions in which children should be able to learn and develop skills in a nurturing environment. It is expected that they are safe from violence, bullying, harassment, and sexual abuse. Teachers and coaches are entrusted to facilitate learning and support the educational needs of their students. Someone who sexually violates young children has no place working in the school system. Any school where such a crime is committed should take responsibility if they fail to properly screen potential teachers and protect their students.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse in schools and other educational settings. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped, or sexually molested by a principal, teacher, or another school employee, contact our law firm at 888-283-9922 or e-mail sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz, at [email protected] for a free consultation.