Long-time Wake County charter school teacher charged with child sex abuse

15 June 2022

— A teacher who has taught at East Wake Academy for nearly 20 years has been arrested for indecent liberties with a student and indecent liberties with a child.

On Wednesday, the Zebulon Police Department posted on social media that they’d received a complaint on May 25. For the past several weeks, their detectives have worked alongside East Wake Academy and the Wake County District Attorney’s Office to investigate the complaint.

On Wednesday, they arrested Miguel Bonano.

Bonano has been a teacher at East Wake Academy since 2003. He has had many students throughout the years.

East Wake parents tell WRAL News that the behavior has been going on for years, and that some female students were concerned about taking classes with Bonano. Andrea Sloan said both of her daughters heard rumors.

“I’m trying to think of a PG way to say it … [he] would stand at their desk with his groin right there or he would reach all the way over them if he had a question,” said Sloan.

Other parents said Bonano would make inappropriate comments to girls and would ask them to do stretches they were uncomfortable with. Parents said it’s been going on for years.

“This is a thing of habitual behavior,” said Sloan.

East Wake Academy declined to say if there was a history of complaints — but says they’ve been cooperating with Zebulon police.

“School should be a place for students to feel safe. Teachers are our children’s guardians when they are at school. Any activity that threatens the sanctity of the school house has no place in this community and our officers will work tirelessly to make certain our children are protected,” wrote Zebulon police on their social media page.

Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman says this charges come down to the experience of a single student who came forward earlier this year.

“We commend the courage and bravery of the student who came forward. Their fearlessness likely saved another student from having to endure what they did. We should all aspire to have such valor,” wrote the Zebulon police

He is being held in the Wake County Jail under a $25,000 bond, and will face his first court appearance Thursday at 9 a.m.

Zebulon police have asked that any other students who’ve passed through Bonano’s classroom over the years come forward if they have similar stories to tell. Current or former students who believe they may have information pertinent to this case should contact Detective Marcella Abate at 919-823-1825.

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