Centennial High School Teacher Arrested for Sexual Battery of a Minor

Sheriff’s officials concluded a two-month-long investigation today that led to the arrest of Centennial High School teacher Rafael Alejandro Yepez, age 28, for having sexual relations with two minors.

“Mr. Yepez is a true sexual predator,” said Sheriff Mascara. “He was a person of high trust and authority that molded these two individuals, gaining their trust and then taking advantage of them in a sexual way.”

On September 22, 2015, sheriff’s deputies responded to a call in reference to a sexual battery case. This call evolved into a lengthy investigation that revealed two victims that were linked to Yepez as both their math teacher at Centennial High School and as their soccer coach through the Mako Soccer League. It is suspected that additional victims may exist and have yet to come forward.

“Through this investigation, we feel that Mr. Yepez may have victimized other young people in our community,” said Sheriff Mascara. “If he’s done it to two, he’s probably done it to more.”

Any parent or student who suspects or knows of additional contact with Yepez is encouraged to contact law enforcement.

Yepez was arrested on one charge of sexual assault/sexual battery on a victim under 18 years and one count of sexual assault by a 24-year-old or older on a victim 16 or 17 years of age. He was booked into the St. Lucie County jail with a bond of $35,000.

Anyone with information on this incident can call detectives at 772-462-3230. Those who wish to give their tip anonymously and be eligible for a cash reward if the tip leads to an arrest, can contact Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-800-273-8477 (TIPS).

The Florida Constitution establishes the Office of the elected County Sheriff who is responsible for preserving the peace, carrying out the orders of Florida courts and the Board of County Commissioners, and providing deputies at court sessions and meetings of the Board of County Commissioners. The Sheriff is the chief correctional officer of the county. Sheriff Ken J. Mascara is elected by the people of St. Lucie County and is accountable to them.

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