WELLINGTON, Fla. — A former math teacher at Wellington Community High School is under arrest after Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office investigators said he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student.
Charles Maglio, 54, was arrested on Sept. 8 on charges of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and an offense against a student by an authority figure.
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According to Maglio's arrest report, the sheriff's office investigation started in December of last year after Maglio sent the girl, who was 16 at the time, flowers at her job at Tijuana Flats.
The restaurant's manager notified the principal at Wellington High School, the report said.
Later that night, the girl called Maglio and told him about a "possible investigation," and deleted all of their text messages.
The arrest report stated that when PBSO investigators spoke to the girl on Dec. 21, 2022, she told them "I don't want [Maglio] to get in trouble. I'm in love with him."
The teen said she met Maglio at the start of the 2022-23 school year in August, when Maglio was a math teacher at Wellington High School.
A few days after the school year started, she went to Maglio's classroom after school looking for a "mentor, fatherly figure," adding that "it escalated."
The girl said she and Maglio started communicating through Snapchat, which was the teacher's idea "so that their conversation wouldn't be saved, and there would be no evidence," the arrest report said.
The teen said she and Maglio had sex "several times" at his Greenacres apartment.
Maglio would give the 16-year-old girl rides to her job and house, and bought her clothing like bras, underwear, lingerie, and dresses, along with a necklace with a heart, as well as a ring.
The teen told PBSO investigators she keeps some of her clothes and a toothbrush at Maglio's apartment and they go to the movies and restaurants.
According to the arrest report, the girl said "they are both aware that 'it is wrong' however, 'it feels right' to them."
"Charles apparently has a calendar behind his door where he is counting down they days until she turns eighteen so they can be open with their relationship," the report stated.
The arrest report added that when sheriff's office investigators searched Maglio's apartment, they found a receipt for the ring and women's underwear and clothing.
Maglio's daughter, who was visiting from New York for the holidays and at the apartment, told investigators the women's clothing in her father's bedroom were hers from when she was younger.
"She does not know if her father is in a relationship but felt strongly to say that he was probably not because he has not say anything to her," the report said.
Months later, during a law enforcement controlled phone call between the 16-year-old girl and Maglio on Feb. 1, Maglio said "his only concern is if the police finds something on Snapchat," adding that law enforcement probably "does not have any evidence."
During the call, Maglio told the teen he loves her and misses her.
"Charles told her, 'I am in love with you, and that has not change. If you can wait until you’re 18, we can see each other.' When she asked him why didn’t he wait until she was 18, he said, 'I don’t know. I always saw you as a woman. I’m not a predator,'" according to the arrest report.
Months later, in August, forensic test results showed that Maglio's DNA was found in the girl's underwear, the report said.
In court Saturday, a judge set Maglio's bond at $20,000 and ordered him to no contact with the teen or anyone under the age of 18. Maglio has since bonded out of jail.
Cara Hayden, the principal at Wellington Community High School, sent the following letter to parents and guardians on Sept. 8, the day of Maglio's arrest:
Wellington High School Parents and Guardians,
I’m reaching out to inform you about the arrest of a former faculty member.
The former math teacher at Wellington High School, had been immediately reassigned to a non-student contact assignment away from our school in December 2022, when School Police and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation into an allegation of misconduct that occurred off campus.
The School District takes this matter very seriously, as the safety and well-being of our students is our highest priority. Students are encouraged to report any suspicious activity to the school administration, law enforcement, or through the FortifyFL app.
Thank you for your continued support of Wellington High School.
Maglio's attorney, Cory Strolla, told WPTV in a written statement that Maglio self-surrendered to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and was put on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the case.
"He looks forward to his day in court to exonerate his name and character. We believe the State’s evidence will only prove that he was a mentor and close confidant to a young lady, with a very troubled past and a worse home life. We wish nothing but the best for the young lady, but we look forward to resolving this case in his favor and clearing his name and getting him back to work," Strolla said in the statement.