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Press Release

Former Teacher Sentenced to Nearly 8 Years in Prison For Sexually Assaulting Six Students

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Incidents Took Place at Northwest Washington School Between 2014 and 2017

            WASHINGTON – Manuel Fernandez, 36, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 7 years and 360 days in prison for 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 Jessie K. Liu and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).


            Fernandez pled guilty in June 2017, 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 was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for a prison term of 1.5 to 8 years.  The Honorable Judith Bartnoff accepted the plea and sentenced Fernandez accordingly. Following his prison term, Fernandez will be placed on 25 years of supervised release. Also, he will be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life. 


            According to the plea documents, the incidents took place between 2014 and 2017 while Fernandez was a teacher at the school in Northwest Washington. In his guilty plea, Fernandez admitted to touching six students on their genitalia while they were in his classroom and in the school basement.  He touched both male and female students, both under and over their clothing. The children ranged in age from 7 to 10 years old. Fernandez was placed on administrative leave after the incidents came to light and he was arrested on Feb. 24, 2017. He has been in custody ever since.


            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Liu 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 December 1, 2017

Press Release Number: 17-256