ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A 22-year-old teacher of an Orange County middle school was arrested Friday in an investigation led in part by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Ryan Hamil was terminated from his job at Water Spring Middle School in Winter Garden on Aug. 25 upon school administration learning from law enforcement that he was under investigation, according to Principal Brian Sanchez-Corona.
“Based on the severity of the allegations, the district’s Office of Professional Standards immediately terminated the employee, who will no longer be on our campus,” Sanchez-Corona said in a message to families. “...Law enforcement may be reaching out to families in order to obtain statements from students.”
Though Sanchez-Corona said in the message he could not discuss employee matters, News 6 has since confirmed with the district that Hamil was the subject of the phone message. The former employee had not returned to campus since the day he was fired, according to a statement from Orange County Public Schools.
According to an affidavit for an arrest warrant, Hamil was stopped and interviewed July 9 by a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officer at the Port of Miami after he disembarked a cruise. Speaking to the officer, Hamil allegedly admitted to buying child sex abuse material “via the dark web,” as well as to taking pictures of children during the cruise and of children in his care at the YMCA Family Center in Winter Garden, where he was also reportedly employed, the affidavit states. No criminal charges were filed against Hamil at this time and he was released, according to the document.
The Department of Homeland Security Investigations requested FDLE get involved when it was learned Hamil also worked at the middle school as a teacher, the affidavit states.
FDLE agents arrived at the school Aug. 25 to speak with Principal Corona, calling Hamil into the front office and interviewing him. Though this section of the affidavit is heavily redacted, it was shown Hamil turned over his cellphone and denied he had taken any pictures of students. The contents of the phone, once extracted and analyzed, included two photos depicting a female “approximately twelve years of age,” the document states.
Hamil was arrested by Orange County deputies and faces two counts of possessing obscene material. He was issued a $2,000 bond.
The YMCA provided News 6 with the following statement:
At the YMCA of Central Florida, there is nothing more important than the safety and well-being of all in our care.
We are saddened to learn of the arrest involving a former Water Spring Middle School teacher who is also a former part-time Y employee. The individual in question is restricted from all access to Y programs and locations. We will cooperate fully with authorities during their investigation.
As a cause-driven community builder serving Central Florida families for over 135 years, the YMCA remains steadfast in our commitment to provide a healthy and safe environment.YMCA of Central Florida
No other details have been shared or confirmed at the time of this report.
This is a developing story. Check back with News 6 for the latest updates.
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