A former Ocean City High School teacher is accused of sexually assaulting a student in 2016.
Ricardo Valle, 34, was arrested Saturday in Texas, where he now lives, Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey Sutherland and Ocean City Police Chief Jay Prettyman announced Monday.
What began as sexual contact ended when Valle allegedly forced the student to perform a sex act on him in a storage room at the high school during what was his last day at the school, according to the affidavit of probable cause obtained by BreakingAC.
During a consensual intercept of communication between the student and Valle, he said that “the final incident was not planned” and “that he did not do this with anyone else,” the investigator wrote.
The now-former student told Ocean City police that the first incident was in March 2016, while on an overnight field trip to Washington, D.C.
Valle, who was the teen’s choir director, allegedly put his face between the girl’s buttocks, the affidavit states.
The sexual advances toward her became more frequent, the alleged victim said.
Valle would even write notes for the girl so that she could get out of class to hang out with him in the choir room. A rear storage area had amenities that included a refrigerator and futon, where the teen and a friend would hang out.
The alleged victim told investigators “that on at least 10 occasions, while sitting next to Valle, he would have his arm around her and would rub her buttock and play with her underwear strap.”
On the last day of the 2015-16 school year, the student and a group of friends were hanging out in the choir room with Valle when he told them he would not be returning the next year because he was enrolling in a master’s program, the affidavit states.
He then allegedly asked the student to stay behind “so that he could say a proper goodbye.”
The two went into the storage area where the former student alleges Valle forced her onto the futon and began pulling up her shirt and kissing her, leaving bruising.
Then Valle allegedly forced her to perform a sex act. She was able to break away and left the room.
The criminal charges include two counts of sexual assault, along with one count each of official misconduct, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal sexual contact.
Valle was living in Seabrook, Texas, where he was arrested. He is being held in the Harris County jail.
He could face five to 10 years in prison for the sexual assault and misconduct charges.
The investigation is ongoing, and Sutherland is urging anyone who has additional information to call his office at 609-465-1135 or Ocean City police at 609-525-9131.
Information may also be provide anonymously through the Cape May County Sheriff’s Tip Line at cmcsheriff.net and click on anonymous tip, or through the Cape May County Crime Stoppers at 609-889-3597.
NOTE: This story was originally published on March 1. It has been updated to include details of the alleged assault.