‘Did anybody touch you?': Parents concerned after 6 girls accuse substitute teacher of molestation

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — A Central Florida substitute teacher is back in jail after a total of six young girls accused him of inappropriately touching them at school, according to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said the parent of one alleged victim reported their child was molested by Syed Yasseen-Asher, who worked as a substitute teacher at Boggy Creek Elementary near Kissimmee.

Asher was arrested and charged with three counts of child molestation last week, deputies said.


He turned himself in to law enforcement again Monday after more girls came forward.

“The first thought that comes to mind, was my kid involved?” said parent Yamerys Zayas.

Yasseen-Asher reportedly admitted to touching two girls, but deputies say six girls have now come forward.

Parents said Yasseen-Asher taught first grade at the school.

"My daughter has friends in that class. She was scared to go back to school today," said parent Lisa Schneider.

Zayas said she had to have a talk with her kids following the incident.

“We all had the talk. I told the kids, I asked the kids, did anybody touch you?” Zayas said.

According to a police report, Yasseen-Asher initially inappropriately touched a 7-year-old girl and an 8-year-old girl. One of the victims told officials the substitute teacher would try to kiss her and that she "needed to drink water so that she could get out of class so Mr. [Asher] wouldn't touch her anymore."

Channel 9 learned Monday that four more victims came forward: three 6-year-old girls and one 8-year-old girl.

Zayas and her husband found out through a phone call from the school.

“They say in the message, the parents, the kids involved were already notified,” Zayas said.

Officials said Yasseen-Asher, 19, passed the school district's background check and has been a substitute teacher at Boggy Creek Elementary since December.

"Sheriff Russ Gibson and the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Osceola County School Department are committed to protecting our children from persons who are willing to harm them," the Sheriff's Office said in a statement. "Our deputies and detectives work relentlessly to investigate and hold persons responsible who victimize our children."

Asher's age became a concern to some leaders around the county. Substitutes in Osceola County can be as young as 18.

"There could be people who would opine that under no circumstances an 18 or 19-year-old has the maturity to work in a school," said Osceola County School Board Member Kelvin Soto. "My experience is different."

Soto argued that with people of that age being able to serve in the military that they should be given the opportunity to become subs. He believes it is an excellent opportunity for recent high school graduates to explore a career in education.

He also admitted in a perfect world that substitutes would be older and more experienced.

Soto told Channel 9 that there are no plans to increase the age minimum or education requirements for Osceola County.

Yasseen-Asher's initial bond was set at $45,000 as he faced three counts of child molestation. In accordance to his bond, a judge said Asher was not to return to Boggy Creek Elementary or have any contact with a minor under the age of 18.

Another arrest warrant was issued after the additional victims came forward Monday. Yasseen-Asher turned himself in later that afternoon.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office at 407-348-2222 or Crimeline at 1-800-423-8477.

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