PASCO COUNTY, Fla — A former substitute for Pasco County is behind bars after two girls accused him of groping and fondling them on school grounds.
Richard Berrios 20, was arrested Wednesday on charges of molesting two girls under the age of 12. Berrios worked as a substitute for the district for only two months before the incident according to Pasco Schools.
According to the arrest affidavit, on December 13, 2021, Richard Berrios was substituting at James Marlowe Elementary School in New Port Richey. During P.E class Berrios allegedly hugged an 11-year-old girl then stood behind her and squeezed her breast and butt. Berrios then allegedly did the same to another 10-year-old. Three other students told police they witnessed the assault.
One of the witnesses told police Berrios attempted to do the same to her but she managed to get away before he could hug and fondle her.
A detective interrogated Berrios at his home in Holiday Florida and then arrested him on the molestation charges. Berrios claimed he may have bumped the girls and grabbed them but it wasn't "in a sexual way"
Berrios also told police he was willing to apologize to both victims.
Full statement from Pasco County Schools:
"We are very disappointed. As soon as the students came forward with the allegations, Mr. Berrios was inactivated as a sub and we reported it to law enforcement. We appreciate the Pasco Sheriff’s Office’s thorough investigation, which resulted in the arrest today, and we applaud the brave students for coming forward. Though we have no indications that there are other victims, we join the Sheriff’s Office in urging parents to come forward if they believe their student may have been victimized by Mr. Berrios."