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Press Release

District Man Pleads Guilty to Sexually Assaulting Six of His Students

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia

            WASHINGTON – Manuel Fernandez, 35, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to sexually assaulting six of his students while working as a teacher at the Latin American Montessori Bilingual Charter School (L.A.M.B.), announced U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).


            Fernandez pled guilty in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia to two charges of Second Degree Child Sexual Abuse, one charge of Attempted Second Degree Child Sexual Abuse, and three charges of Misdemeanor Sexual Abuse of a Child. The plea, which is contingent upon the Court’s approval, calls for a prison term of 1.5 to 8 years. Upon release, Fernandez would be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life. The Honorable Judith Bartnoff scheduled sentencing for September 7, 2017 at 2:00 pm.


            According to the plea documents, while Fernandez was a teacher at L.A.M.B., he touched multiple students on their genitalia while in his classroom and in the school basement. He touched both male and female students, both under and over their clothing.


            In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Phillips and Chief Newsham commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. They acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Tracy Owusu, Lezlie Richardson and Elsa Maltese, all of the Victim/Witness Assistance Unit, former Intern Emma McArthur, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessi Camille Brooks and J. Matt Williams, who prosecuted the case.

Updated June 2, 2017

Press Release Number: 17-120