A 41-year-old teacher was arrested Wednesday in Quito, Ecuador, following an investigation in which dozens of students accused him of sexual abuse.
The accused, identified by the authorities as Chuim Antonio, was arrested at the Mushuc Pacari Bilingual Educational Unit, located in the Calderón neighborhood, north of the Ecuadorian capital. His alleged victims ranged between the ages of 12 and 14 years old.
According to Ecuadorian news outlets, the allegations were committed throughout the 2016-2017 school year. The man reportedly would offer students food and drink to gain their trust, and then offer to drive them home, where he allegedly sexually molested them.
The case’s prosecutor, Mariana Huilcapi, explained at a press conference that an investigation opened in April after the first allegations against the teacher were made, but it wasn’t until July that charges were pressed against him.
Huilcapi also explained that the prosecution and authorities would offer “immediate support to the victims during the investigation.”
The first ten formal complaints were later followed by a whopping 74 more, bringing the total number of victims to 84. Authorities believe that the number will grow as the investigation continues to unfold.
The Attorney General of the State of Ecuador tweeted that they managed to find and arrest Chuim Antonio. According to the Spanish-language newspaper El Universo, the suspect remains in custody, pending a hearing where charges would be filed officially. It was not immediately clear if Chuim secured an attorney.