A religious school biology teacher accused of having sex with one of his 14-year-old students in a car parked behind a strip mall is now facing federal charges.
Eric Richard Beasley, 24, of Plantation, who had been released on bond to face the state sexual assault charges, was rearrested on federal charges late last week.
He is now accused of using a cellphone to entice or coerce a minor into engaging in sexual activity. If convicted, he could face 10 years to life in federal prison.
In a written order issued Monday, a magistrate judge ruled Beasley should remain locked up without bond pending his trial on the federal charges.
Federal prosecutors said that a student and parent had approached school officials in December to report “suspected inappropriate behavior” between Beasley and the girl — months before police got involved.
“[Beasley] was questioned and specifically warned [by school officials] not to spend any time alone with the victim,” U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick Hunt wrote in his order.
Beasley, who was in his second year teaching at Zion Lutheran Christian School in Deerfield Beach, was placed on unpaid administrative leave immediately after his first arrest on April 1, school officials said.
At that time, Lighthouse Point police said Beasley was caught engaging in sexual activity with the girl in the back of his car, which was parked behind a store and had its windows partially blocked with sun visors and a shirt. At first, the couple said they had met on an online dating site and the girl initially claimed she was 19, but later admitted she was 14.
Beasley also initially told police that he thought the girl was older, but the girl’s mother was called to the scene and identified him as her daughter’s ninth-grade biology teacher.
Beasley later told investigators that he began a physical relationship with his student around Valentine’s Day and they had sex on numerous occasions, FBI Agent Daniel Johns testified. The girl later confirmed that, he said.
When agents searched Beasley’s cellphone, they found “a sexually explicit video” of him that he had sent to the girl, at least one partially naked picture of the girl, and several graphic texts, according to court records.
Beasley’s girlfriend attended his court hearing Friday in federal court in Fort Lauderdale and supported his request to be released on bond, the judge wrote.
The judge ruled that Beasley had not been able to prove that he was not a danger to the community for several reasons, including “the abuse of a position of trust and authority, and the continuing of the sexual relationship after specific warnings from school officials.”