In a shocking and disturbing case, a 29-year-old former teacher from Miami is facing 15 charges of child sex abuse. Eric Bernard Givens was arrested last Friday after two elementary school-aged girls came forward and accused him of sexually abusing them when they were his students at two separate schools in Miami.
According to police reports, the two victims on record had come into contact with Givens when they were attending the Theodore R. and Thelma A. Gibson Charter School in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood and St. Mary’s Cathedral School in Miami’s Little River neighborhood. The details of the abuse are harrowing, with one of the girls describing how Givens tested her boundaries when she was in the third grade. He would pull her hair back in the classroom and, after everyone had left, rape her. He also allegedly started by pulling her hair back and grabbing her wrist so hard that she would bruise.
The other victim, who is just 10 years old, recently received text messages from Givens saying, “Always wanted to date you,” “I wanna see you again,” and “Oh wow I wanna see you bad.” He also sent her a photo of himself wearing only boxers, according to the arrest form. These messages were not only inappropriate but also frightening for the young girl.
After his arrest, Givens appeared in county court on Sunday and Monday, and Miami-Dade prosecutors filed two felony cases on Sunday that include 15 criminal charges against him, court records show. The case of the St. Mary’s Cathedral School student has 14 charges, including seven counts of lewd or lascivious molestation of a child who is younger than 12 years old and seven counts of battery, a misdemeanor. The case of the Theodore R. and Thelma A. Gibson Charter School includes a misdemeanor charge of offense against students by an authority figure.
The allegations against Givens are heinous and have left the Miami community in shock. He was employed at St. Mary’s Cathedral School when he was accused of crimes against a student in August 2018. The Archdiocese of Miami released a statement about the case on Monday, stating that school administrators “relieved” Givens of his teaching position “a few months later.” The statement also explained that administrators had followed the Archdiocese of Miami Safe Environment policy and had notified the police immediately to investigate the incident. The school officials also offered counseling to the student and their family members.
As the case progresses, detectives are urging anyone with information about the case to come forward and call Miami-Dade County Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477. The community is rallying around the victims and their families and is working together to ensure that justice is served in this terrible situation.