An Alamance-Burlington Public School System (ABSS) teacher, who is a non-U.S. citizen and is in the country on a work visa, has been charged with multiple counts of indecent liberties.
Ivan Danilo Ardila-Perez, age 36, was arrested on April 26 by deputies with the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office and was charged with two counts of indecent liberties with a student and two counts of indecent liberties with children.
Warrants show that Ardila-Perez is accused of taking indecent liberties on Feb. 26 for the purpose of “gratifying sexual desire” with an 11-year-old student.
A few months later, on April 12, Ardila-Perez allegedly took indecent liberties with another student, this time a 12-year-old. Warrant information describes the accusation as “lewd and lascivious” acts committed against the alleged victim.
No mugshot was available on the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office inmate lookup website, however, one was posted with his incarceration record on the inmate lookup tool VineLink.
Ardila-Perez was issued a $100,000 secured bond. He remains in custody at the Alamance County Detention Center.
At his arraignment on April 27, Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Olivier revealed Ardila-Perez is not a U.S. citizen. She also said he doesn’t appear to have a criminal record in the U.S. and is in the country on a work visa. Olivier did not say which country Ardila-Perez is originally from.
His next court date is scheduled for May 18.
As part of his bond agreement, Ardila-Perez may have no contact with the victims or visit any ABSS educational facilities.
In a May 8 update from law enforcement, four new warrants were served on Ardila-Perez containing new charges. The new warrants were issued on the basis of six new victims coming forward ranging in age from 11 to 13 years old.
Across the four warrants, he now faces four new counts of taking felony indecent liberties with a student and four new counts of taking felony indecent liberties with a child.
With the addition of the new charges, Ardila-Perez now has a total of six counts of taking felony indecent liberties with a student and six counts of taking felony indecent liberties with a child.
Authorities say the investigation is still open and even more charges may be filed.
According to ABSS, Ardila-Perez was hired in Sept. 2022 as a Spanish teacher at Southern Middle School. He also was a men’s soccer coach in April 2023.
“There is no greater priority than the health, safety, and welfare of our children,” part of the statement issued by ABSS reads.
The district also said it is fully cooperating with the Alamance Sheriff’s Office pertaining to an “ongoing investigation” involving Ardila-Perez. Ardila-Perez is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the joint investigation, per the district.
Ardila-Perez has an active teaching license on file with the state in the areas of Spanish K-12 and English as a Second Language K-12. The license was issued Sept. 7, 2022, and will expire on June 25, 2025, unless revoked before that date.
On May 1, ABSS held a joint media conference with the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Terry Johnson and ABSS Superintendent Dr. Dain Butler addressed the media and local community regarding Ardila-Perez’s arrest and revealed new information that more victims had come forward the day after the arrest.
“On Thursday, April 27, 2023, five more students came forward and spoke with Detectives regarding their interactions with this teacher,” the press statement for the media event stated. “The students range in age from 11 to 13 years old.”
New charges are likely to be added as a result of more victims coming forward.
Butler gave some prepared remarks detailing that Adrila-Perez was suspended without pay and indicated the ABSS board would likely be terminating his employment at its next meeting on May 9.
The press release for the event included Dr. Butler’s prepared remarks:
As Sheriff Johnson stated, we stand here with him and his department today because this is a serious matter that deserves all of our attention and we want our families and this community to know that we are united in working together.
The arrest of one of our teachers has brought shame and embarrassment to our entire school community. As I said at the beginning of the school year, I have zero tolerance for misbehavior by our students in the classroom and the same goes for our staff. This WILL NOT BE Tolerated..not on my watch.
However, we also want to emphasize that the actions of ONE individual do not reflect the values of our school District as a whole. We have great teachers, staff, and administrators who work tirelessly to help our students achieve great things and become successful.
At Alamance-Burlington Schools, we are committed to providing a safe and secure environment for our students to learn and grow, and this kind of behavior is simply unacceptable.
We want to reassure our families that we take our responsibility to protect our students and staff seriously.
We have strict policies and procedures in place to ensure that all of our teachers are properly vetted before they are allowed to work with our students.
For many years we have offered Global Studies. Part of that program is to bring in teachers from other counties. They too go through a vetting process.
However, even with these measures in place, we know that no system is foolproof.
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, employees are individuals with their own motives and choices.
I think what’s important to note is that, as Sheriff Johnson said, we acted swiftly and are cooperating fully with The Alamance County Sheriff’s Office in their investigation, and we will take any necessary steps to ensure that justice is served.
Many have questioned how it works when an employee is accused and charged. I want to address that:
We first investigate all allegations. If there are findings the individual is immediately placed on paid leave pending further investigation. That sometimes involves interviewing other staff members, administrators and so forth. This removed that individual from the school building.
Finally a recommendation is made to our Board of Education at their monthly meeting to terminate. So we do have a process in place that follows state policy.
At this time, this individual is suspended WITHOUT Pay with a recommendation to our Board of Education for dismissal. We have a work session next Tuesday, May 9th.
I want to take a moment to talk about our victims, who are OUR students, and offer my deepest apologies for the pain, trauma and suffering that you have experienced as a result of the actions of ONE person. Abuse is never acceptable, and it is never the fault of the victim. It is a terrible violation of trust.
Once again, despite our best efforts people choose to do the wrong thing and when we’re made aware, we investigate those concerns.
I want our ABSS families to know….At any time, at any school, please know that your child can talk with their counselor should they have concerns about a staff member or anything else going on in their lives.
Our counseling staff is always ready to support them. Additionally we want you to know you can always reach out to our school-based administrators or Central Services should you have concerns.
If you see something or hear something that even in the slightest seems out of place…alert us. It is important that we work together as a community to ensure the safety and well-being of all our students at all times.
A full video of the press conference can be viewed on Facebook.
In addition to Ardila-Perez, Matt Ritter, the principal of Southern Middle School was suspended on May 1.
The reason for the suspension was unknown when first reported, however, it appears that ABBS officials learned Ritter was aware of allegations made against Ardila-Perez on April 21 – a full five days before one of the alleged victim’s parents reported Ardila’Pereze to police.
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