J.P. Taravella Staff Member Accused of Engaging in Sex Acts with a Minor

J.P. Taravella employee sex acts

Steve Esperence

By Hank McCoy

A facility serviceperson at J.P. Taravella High School was arrested after allegedly performing a sex act on a minor.

On March 2, staff member Steve Esperence, 26, of Lauderhill, was accused of engaging in sexual activity with a minor after a victim claimed Esperence performed oral sex on him inside a bathroom stall.

In a sworn statement, the 17-year-old victim alleges the two met on the gay dating app Grindr where they exchanged nude photographs. On March 2, at an afterschool club meeting, the victim logged into the Grindr app and saw that Esperence was close by, so he asked him if he wanted to meet up. Esperence agreed, and they entered a stall of the bathroom, where Esperence then pulled down the victim’s pants and performed oral sex on him.

Video surveillance obtained from J.P. Taravella confirms the alleged victim, and a black male entered the restroom in the 1,000 building at 4:00 p.m., then showed Esperence leaving the restroom at 4:12 p.m., and the victim exiting at 4:16 p.m.

J.P. Taravella’s staff directory lists Esperence as a facility serviceperson for the school.

The father of the victim advised the Coral Springs Police he wanted to prosecute. On June 5, Esperence was arrested and taken to the Broward Main Jail in Fort Lauderdale.

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