Henderson Middle School Teacher Arrested, Charged with Sexual Battery of Students
By FALLS CHURCH CITY OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS, FALLS CHURCH CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS, and FALLS CHURCH TIMES STAFF
February 17, 2017
A sixth-grade math teacher at Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School was arrested Friday and charged with the aggravated sexual battery of two female students.
Jose Daniel Estrada, a 36-year-old Clifton, Va., resident, was placed on administrative leave by school officials the day the first accusation was made on Jan. 17. Students who had classes with Mr. Estrada suddenly had a new teacher, and rumors began sweeping the school, with some students suggesting, or questioning if, he was fired.
Questions about why he was removed from the classroom circulated among students as well, with some students suggesting he had slapped a girl on her rear end, but it’s not clear if the charges allege that specific behavior or something else. Documents that would detail the allegations against Mr. Estrada were not available in either the Arlington County or Falls Church courthouses Friday afternoon, and he is, of course, innocent until proven guilty.
Mr. Estrada began his employment with the Falls Church City schools in July 2015. He is being held in the Arlington County Jail.
After the two girls came to school officials with their allegations, the two incidents were immediately reported to police and child protective services. Mr. Estrada was quickly removed from the classroom and placed on paid leave. Officials said the decision to place him on leave rather than terminate him was made in order to allow police to investigate the situation objectively first.
“This action enabled the Falls Church City Public Schools to ensure the safety of its students while also reserving judgment on the employee,” Schools Spokesman John Brett said in a press release. “As a result, at the time of the arrest, the employee was not at the school, nor in contact with students.”
With his arrest, Mr. Estrada’s pay is now being placed in an escrow account pending the disposition of the case in accordance with state law. If he is acquitted or the state declines to prosecute him, he will receive that pay. If he is found guilty, the money will be kept by the schools.
By Stephen Siegel
February 17, 2017