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Jupiter teacher arrested for unlawful sexual activity with minor

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 11:26 AM EDT
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A Palm Beach County teacher is under arrest after authorities said he committed a sex crime on a 16-year-old student two years ago.

According to the School District of Palm Beach County, Daniel Norment, 41, is a math teacher at Independence Middle School, located at 4001 Greenway Drive in Jupiter.

Jail records show Norment was arrested around 5 p.m. Tuesday on charges of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and a sex offense against a student by an authority figure.

According to his arrest report, Norment was the victim's teacher when she was in eighth grade at Independence Middle School and would tell her "she was different and mature for her age" and "gave her good grades for doing nothing."

When the girl went to high school, she would frequently visit Norment at Independence Middle School, helping him with paperwork, cleaning his classroom, and hanging out.

Over time, Norment began to get more affectionate with the student, hugging her, rubbing her back, and kissing her on the cheek, the arrest report stated.

On one occasion, he rubbed her "in a passionate way (touching her breast and butt) over her clothing," kissed her on the lips, and told her he was falling in love with her, police said.

The student told investigators she thought Norment's behavior was wrong, "but liked her favorite teacher."

When the girl was 16, at the start of her 11th grade year, she visited Norment's classroom and he "became more aggressive and passionate," touching her breasts and backside.

Norment's arrest report stated the teacher then led the student into a closet in his classroom, took off her clothing, and had sex with her.

The girl, who is now 18 and in college, said "some of the incident she has blocked out."

According to Norment's arrest report, the girl reported the incident to law enforcement in March, telling Palm Beach County school police she came forward two years later "due to this bothering her every day," adding that "Norment should not be around youth."

The girl told police "Norment used her and realized that it was wrong for her and him to have sex at the school" and that "she struggles with the incident and [is] not sure if she will ever be able to resolve it in her mind."

During the police investigation, three assistant principals at Independence Middle School said they were "aware of some inappropriate non-criminal behavior by Norment while teaching at the school for the past couple of years."

According to his arrest report, Norment had been "reprimanded for multiple ethical violations involving school children," including taking students into his classroom closet to "counsel them" and allowing members of the girls' basketball team to change into their uniforms inside his classroom while he waited outside.

When police questioned Norment on March 22, he said "he felt it was best to seek out an attorney's advice," the arrest report stated.

In a letter to parents Tuesday, Principal Amber Saunders confirmed Norment's arrest, saying the teacher was reassigned to a "non-student contact position away from the school in March" after school district police received a complaint about Norment.

The complaint involved "an incident that the complainant said occurred two years ago when she was a minor," Saunders wrote in her letter.

"The investigation culminated today in Norment's arrest," Saunders wrote. "He faces two felony charges relating to unlawful sex with a minor."

Saunders said Norment has worked at Independence Middle School for about six years.

In court Wednesday, a judge set Norment's bond at $100,000 and ordered him to have no contact with anyone under the of 18 and no contact with any School District of Palm Beach County properties.

Saunders said that if students or parents have any information about Norment that may help investigators, call the School District of Palm Beach County's Police Department at 561-434-8700.

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