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Daniel Hakim, 36, from North Andover, faces “32 counts of aggravated indecent assault and battery on a child under 14,” the Salem News reported. The Superior Court judge Thomas Drechsler set his bail at $200,000.
Assistant Essex County District Attorney Haleigh Reisman reported for the Salem News that allegations include accusations “of inappropriate touching of children's breasts and buttocks, reaching up young girls' shirts or down their pants, touching their buttocks or genital areas inside and outside of their underwear, and hugging them inappropriately.”
Hakim was a teacher in the gym at Saltonstall School in Salem from 2015 to 2018. NBC Boston noted, and the alleged victims ranged from the ages of six to eight, the prosecutors claimed. Reisman said the girls were part of Hakim's first, second, and third-grade classes according to the Salem News.
The allegations of misconduct were brought to the attention of the Salem Public School district in the year 2018. Hakim was removed immediately from the campus and was suspended until the conclusion of the investigation.
The allegations were made public by authorities from the state Department of Children and Families [DCFThe department who also reported the case to the Salem Police Department and the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Salem school officials stated that DCF found the allegations not to be criminally prosecutable.
“Hakim's teaching license was revoked in 2020, according to police, and a year later, a new Saltonstall student told her parents of something Hakim did to her in 2016,” that led to the ex-teacher's “arrest on seven charges,” NBC Boston reported.
A further nine students came forward over the months following. Reisman reported in the Salem News that the 32 charges stem from an indictment of a grand jury that is based on the initial child that came forward in December and on the nine victims who presented allegations. The original case of the victim brought with Salem District Court was dropped and the charges arising from her claims are being investigated along with the nine victims who have filed claims at Superior Court, according to the newspaper.
The superintendent of the district school Dr. Stephen Zrike, along with Salem Police Chief Lucas Miller and Mayor Kimberley Driscoll, have issued an official statement regarding the allegations, as reported by the Salem News.
“The actions for which Daniel Hakim has been arrested and charged are abominations,” the statement reads. “We are grateful for and applaud the cooperation of the victims and their families, their patience with the detailed investigation, and, above all, their courage in coming forward.”