Flood Warning issued October 1 at 10:09AM EDT expiring October 4 at 2:00AM EDT in effect for: Sarasota
A Hillsborough County mother is outraged that a teen accused of molesting her daughter at a bay area high school was allowed to return to class.
Theresa Worsham felt she had no choice but to move her daughter to another high school.
"Can you imagine if you had a daughter putting her back in a school with her attacker?" Worsham said.
Worsham said she couldn't do it. According to a Sheriff's Office report, Fito Merzier was arrested on Feb. 26 for touching Worsham's 15-year-old daughter inappropriately and kissing her against her will.
"I was angry. I was hurt, and I was really sad that I couldn't protect her. That was the hardest thing," Worsham said.
Two weeks ago, Worsham said she got a call from the principal at Bloomingdale High School saying Merzier would be returning to school, so she decided to move her daughter to Brandon High.
She said the school district should have never let him back in.
"There should have been more of a punishment," Worsham said.
The case is in the hands of the State Attorney's Office now. Prosecutors are determining if they will move forward with the charges. The school district is waiting on that decision, but in the meantime conducted its own investigations.
“We looked at it to see if there was any reason to expel the student, transfer to another school, sent to an alternative center or to have that person disciplined and returned to the school,” Hillsborough County schools spokesman Steve Hegarty said.
They would not say specifically what their investigation showed but determined it was safe for Merzier to be around other students. The district acknowledges that could change based on legal proceedings, but Worsham is concerned the school year will be over by the time this all plays out in court.
"This should not happen to another child and that's my biggest message," Worsham said.
Merzier's attorney would not comment on the case.