A Broward private school teacher tried to “corrupt” a student with sexual advances, officials say

A teacher at a private Catholic school in Broward sexually assaulted a teenage student during an out-of-state field trip, federal prosecutors say. Court documents suggest he may have groomed the girl for months.

Boris Fernando Bastidas, 35, was arrested Thursday and is charged with coercing or enticing a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity and traveling in interstate commerce to engage in illegal sexual conduct.

He appeared in federal court in Fort Lauderdale Thursday morning. Court records show he is in custody. It was not immediately clear whether he had retained an attorney.

According to a criminal complaint, Bastidas maintained an inappropriate romantic and sexual relationship with the 15-year-old from July 2023 to February.

Bastidas was a teacher at Chaminade-Madonna College Preparatory, a private Catholic school in Hollywood. According to a post on the school’s Instagram account, he was the chair of the school’s social studies department — and the 2023 Educator of the Year.

Bastidas came to the attention of agents at the FBI’s Miami field office after the girl’s mother reported an allegation of statutory rape on Feb. 12. The teen told investigators that Bastidas was her first-year teacher and that they grew closer when she asked him for advice.

The next day, officers searched the girl’s phone, the complaint says. The girl said she communicated with Bastidas through her school’s email accounts, but later moved the conversations to her personal emails and phones.

“You’re not just a student…”

While interviewing school administrators, agents discovered that the school had received several Instagram messages alerting them to allegations of a sexual relationship between Bastidas and the student, the complaint states. The messages ordered the school to review deleted emails from July 2023.

The complaint states that administrators were able to recover the exchange and save it to a USB flash drive that they provided to the FBI. They also said they met with Bastidas about the tips, and he denied the allegations.

Bastidas later met with administrators again and they read several of the emails he sent, according to court documents. During that meeting, Bastidas called the emails a “misjudgment.”

“You are one of the best students I have ever had, so I cannot judge you,” Bastidas wrote to the girl. “But you’re not just a student at this point.”

It was not clear from court documents exactly when that meeting with administrators took place. But in a statement, principal Judith Mucheck said the school acted quickly:

“When we learned of the allegations, we began an investigation and he was immediately fired.”

In one of the messages between the two included in the complaint, the student pointed out the issues that can arise from the conversation on school email.

“Do you think it’s a wise decision to record this in our school accounts?” she said.

“Probably not,” Bastidas replied.

During their frequent exchanges, Bastidas and the girl discussed meeting, court documents show. The teen said Bastidas could only see her in the summer when she worked at Publix, but he said that was “the dangerous and not so smart thing to try.”

But that didn’t stop Bastidas, the complaint says. He continued to plan to see the girl and instructed her to be late to pick her up.

“I assume that if you don’t do it too late it won’t raise too many questions,” he said in a message.

Bastidas and the teen mentioned that they met at Dunkin’ Donuts, kissed and held hands. But their conversations, records show, became increasingly sexual.

Messages — and the girl’s statement — revealed that Bastidas sexually abused the teen during a school trip to New York, the complaint says.

According to investigators, the 15-year-old girl took photos of herself and sent them to the teacher. Bastidas had also provided the teenager with gifts, including a bracelet, a necklace, T-shirts and a key chain.

“I’m really going to ‘spoil’ you…” Bastidas wrote in one of the messages.