Former employee at Eustis school accused of having sex with teen

Inappropriate contact began through Snapchat, police say

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor
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EUSTIS, Fla. - A former tech at a private behavioral center and school is accused of having sex with a former student after they began communicating through Snapchat, according to the Tavares Police Department.

The victim, a 17-year-old girl, said she met Alex Palomino, 27, at Lake Academy and Children's Development Center in Eustis last year when he was a behavioral tech at the school.

She said that during a conversation one day he mentioned that he had never used Snapchat so she gave him her username and they would communicate through the app, police said.

When Palomino asked the girl out, she said yes, according to the report.

The victim told police during an interview on Oct. 9 that she and Palomino would meet every other month beginning in July and have sex at a hotel room in downtown Tavares, authorities said.

They had sex three times, then Palomino stopped the relationship because he ran into money problems, according to police.

The victim said Palomino did not return to the academy for the fall 2017 school year, although the report did not indicate why. She told police that she heard Palomino was also romantically involved with another student at the school.

Palomino was arrested Saturday on three counts of sexual activity with a minor.

A spokesperson from Lake County Schools said Lake Academy and Children's Development Center is not part of the public school system. The school's website says it is owned by LifeStream, a nonprofit that provides behavioral health treatment, social services and education to adolescents in Central Florida.

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