Dillard High teacher accused of engaging in sex act with teen


A science teacher at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale will not be working with students in the new school year after he was accused of engaging in sex acts with a minor, officials said.


The Broward Sheriff’s Office said Venorrice Wells gave a girl a ride home in a Chevrolet Tahoe on July 11, stopped at a parking lot in Lauderdale Lakes and while in the back seat of the SUV, the sexual activity happened, according to an arrest report.


Wells, 31, of Fort Lauderdale, told a detective that the girl told him she was 19, the report said.


Deputies arrested Wells on Friday. He faces felony charges of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, 16 or 17 years old, and being an authority figure soliciting/engaging in sexual conduct with a student, an arrest report said.


“The district’s special investigative unit is working with local law enforcement regarding its investigation,” said Cathleen Brennan, a spokeswoman for Broward County Public Schools.


When school begins Aug. 14, Wells will be reassigned to a job that is away from students, pending the outcome of the investigation, Brennan said.


Wells was hired by the district in December 2012 as a substitute teacher.


In October 2013, he began teaching chemistry at Dillard and in August 2014 became a science instructor.


Wells worked as a summer substitute teacher in 2014 and 2015. He separated from the district for one day when his certificate expired, and was rehired the next day, on July 2, 2015, Brennan said.


During a court hearing Saturday, Broward County Judge Joseph Murphy III ordered Wells to not contact the minor, set a $60,000 bond and ordered Wells to wear a GPS monitor when he was released Sunday from jail.

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