A coach at a Florida school was arrested Monday after allegedly attempting to blackmail a student into letting him rape her, and police say there may yet be more victims.
Yuniesky Ramirez-Martinez, 37, an employee of the Downtown Doral Charter Upper School in Doral, Florida, about five miles west of Miami, was taken into custody for multiple charges that included solicitation of a child. According to the arrest warrant affidavit obtained by NBC 6, the athletic coach and part-time security monitor had first ensnared the girl by approaching her and a boy with a promise to provide the 16-year-olds with a private place to “do whatever they want,” on February 14.
It was then that Ramirez-Martinez reportedly ushered the teens to a TV production room where, upon seeing a camera setup, the students were shown into an adjacent room where they could “do it” while the coach allegedly watched and possibly recorded the sex act on his phone through a window, reportedly seen on security footage.
The affidavit later detailed that the coach had given the male student a fist bump afterward. The next day, Ramirez-Martinez was said to have approached the girl and asked her to do the same sex act with him and when she challenged him about her being a minor he allegedly said he knew and liked that. By Friday, the girl had told an adult at the school who called the police as the coach continued to approach her and had gone so far as to threaten her that he would tell the boy if she did not consent to his raping her.
Doral Police Chief Edwin Lopez remarked to NBC 6 when asked how dangerous the coach was, “Extremely dangerous, this is somebody who’s victimizing students, who’s preying on them, taking advantage of students who are in a unique age in their life hormonally, dealing with the pressure of social media, the pressure of different relationships, and you are an authority figure in school, you’re supposed to coach, you’re supposed to mentor, you’re supposed to guide these young men and women into the next phase of life and you’re taking advantage of them, for us it gets no worse than that.”
Lopez took to social media Tuesday congratulating the effort of his department in taking Ramirez-Martinez into custody and charging him with “Offense against Student(s) by an Authority Figure, Solicitation of a Child to Engage in an act that constitutes Sexual Battery by a Custodial authority” and “Promoting a Sexual Performance by a child.”
Great work by our team @DoralPolice #BackTheBlue pic.twitter.com/EdERYzbrYi
— Chief Edwin Lopez (@ChiefDoralPD) February 21, 2023
“He was hired as a security monitor and as a coach last year and within his first few weeks on the job he’s already committing several felonies,” he told NBC 6, “so we’re glad to put people like this in jail.”
Students were reportedly shocked to learn about the charges with one telling the outlet, “I was in class and I read the article and it just made me sick to my stomach,” while another said, “It’s in a way, scary, because you really never know who you can trust like that.”
The school’s principal, Kim Ortiz, released a statement on the arrest that read: “As a result of their investigation, the Doral Police Department arrested Mr. Yunieski Ramirez who was employed as a part-time security monitor and athletic coach. Mr. Ramirez was immediately terminated as an employee with Downtown Doral Charter Upper School and has NOT been on school grounds since the initial report. DDCUS continues to cooperate with all law enforcement authorities and cannot comment further on the investigation.”
Ramirez-Martinez was jailed and held with a $40,000 bond and the investigation remains ongoing as authorities aim to uncover whether any other children may have been victimized and what the suspect may have done with the video if he had, in fact, recorded the students.
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