82ºF

Girl left Osceola school crying after being molested by substitute teacher, report shows

6 victims between 6 and 8 years old have come forward, detectives say

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – Osceola County school officials said the substitute teacher accused of molesting six elementary school students worked at eight other schools since December.

School board member Kelvin Soto said the district's priority is to keep students safe and parents informed.

"Parents are concerned and they deserve to know the information that we are able to release for them, I'm glad it is out there," Soto said.

One of the victims who accused Fnu Syedyaseen-Asher, 19, of inappropriately touching her was crying when her mother picked her up after school Feb. 21, detectives said. When news of a substitute teacher being arrested came out, the mother followed up with authorities helping to find an three additional  victims, according to an arrest warrant.

News media reports of Asher's first arrest Thursday prompted parents to talk to their children, which resulted in additional victims coming forward, according to the arrest warrant. 

A new warrant was signed on charges related to the allegations by the four additional victims. Asher was taken into custody Monday evening. He was charged with six counts of lewd and lascivious molestation of a victim under 12 years old, according to jail records.

Asher remains in the Osceola County Jail, held without bail, after his second arrest.

The lead Osceola County Sheriff's Office detectives addressed the judge Tuesday during Asher's first appearance on the new charges. The detective said the documented incidents were not the first time Asher said he had touched students.

"I asked him if that was the first time that he touched a child. He said it was not. He said, two months ago he touched another child at Floral Ridge (Elementary School)," the detective said. "Also, he advised he touched another child at Mill Creek (Elementary School) and told me that he only touched five children."

Asher initially denied touching the girls but later told detectives he did because he found one of the 6-to 8-year-old victims "beautiful and attractive."

A mother reported her daughter was crying recently when she picked her up from school, and so she asked her why she was upset. The girl said there had been a substitute teacher in her class and he was weird, according to the report. After the parent received the automated message about a substitute teacher being arrested, she contacted the school resource officer.

The girl told detectives Asher has asked her to come to his desk and then had put his hands down her pants, according to the report. Asher later said he did touch the victim, detectives said.

Detectives said additional victims reported lewd molestation by Asher while he was a substitute teacher in their classrooms between Feb. 21 and Feb. 28.

Another victim came forward after her mother saw an article about Asher's arrest and asked her children if they had a substitute teacher, according to the report. The parent showed her children a photo of Asher and the victim made a "weird" face and explained that Asher was her substitute teacher on Feb. 21 had touched her private areas, the report said.

The victim told her mother she didn't do anything when he touched her because she was embarrassed. The same victim told the Department of Children and Families that she had seen Asher touch two other girls.

Detectives said Asher abused three girls on Feb. 21 at the same school. There are now a total of six victims between 6 and 8 years old that Asher is accused of molesting while working as a substitute teacher on Feb. 21 and Feb. 28.

Records show Asher was working for the Osceola County School District, where he had been employed since December, on a green card from India.

"Its not unusual for a substitute teacher to substitute at many different schools, from what I understand though the number of incidents is not at every one of those schools," said Soto.

School officials said Asher worked as a substitute at nine area schools between December and Feb. 28.

Below are the schools where Asher worked and the dates on which he would have encountered students at each school:

Boggy Creek Elementary – Feb. 21 and Feb. 28.
Central Avenue Elementary – Jan. 16, Jan. 23, Feb. 6 and Feb. 20.
Flora Ridge Elementary – Feb. 12 and Feb. 18.
Ventura Elementary - Feb. 14.
Pleasant Hill Elementary – Jan. 22 and Feb. 8.
Kissimmee Middle – Dec. 18, Dec. 20, Jan. 11, Feb. 1.
Kissimmee Elementary – Jan. 18.
Parkway Middle – Jan. 15.
Mill Creek Elementary – Jan. 9.

Osceola County Sheriff's Office Maj. Jacob Ruiz said parents should continue to talk to their children.

"We fear that there could be more (victims) because of what we have already seen from this person," Ruiz said.


About the Authors: