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Former MA gym teacher charged with sexually assaulting ten girls aged 6-8

A former Massachusetts gym teacher was arrested on Wednesday and faces 32 counts of allegedly sexually assaulting ten little girls who were students in his first, second and third grade classes.

Warning: this article contains disturbing details.

Daniel Hakim, 36, of North Andover, faces ’32 counts of aggravated indecent assault and bodily harm to a child under 14′, according to the Salem News reported. Superior Court Judge Thomas Drechsler set his bond at $200,000.

Essex County Assistant District Attorney Haleigh Reisman told the Salem News this allegations include allegations”inappropriately touching children’s breasts and buttocks, reaching for young girls’ shirts or pulling down their pants, touching their buttocks or genitals inside and outside their underwear and hug inappropriately.

Hakim was a gym teacher at Saltonstall School in Salem from 2015 to 2018, NBC Boston noted, and his alleged victims were between the ages of six and eight, prosecutors said. Reisman said the girls belonged to Hakim’s first, second and third grade classes, according to the Salem News.

WCVB reports:

Alleged instances of inappropriate conduct came to the attention of the Salem Public School District in 2018. Hakim was immediately expelled from school and suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

The charges were reported to the state Department of Children and Families [DCF]the Salem Police Department and the State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Salem school officials said the DCF considers the claims not actionable.

“Hakim’s teaching license was revoked in 2020, police say, and a year later a new student at Saltonstall told her parents about something Hakim had done to her in 2016,” leading to “the former professor’s arrest on seven counts,” NBC Boston reported. .

Nine more students came forward in the months that followed. Reisman told the Salem News that the 32 counts stem from a grand jury indictment based on the first child who came forward in December and the nine victims who subsequently made allegations. The victim’s original case filed in Salem District Court was dropped and Hakim’s charges stemming from his allegations are being pursued along with the victims’ nine complaints in Superior Court, according to the publication.

School District Superintendent Dr. Stephen Zrike, along with Salem Police Chief Lucas Miller and Mayor Kimberley Driscoll, released a joint statement about the allegations, according to the Salem News.

“The actions for which Daniel Hakim has been arrested and charged are abominations,” the statement read in part. “We are grateful and applaud the cooperation of the victims and their families, their patience in the detailed investigation and, above all, their courage to come forward.”

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