Middle School teacher arrested for inappropriate touching
SARASOTA- A Brookside Middle School Teacher arrested for inappropriately touching students at both Brookside Middle and Sarasota High, and Police believe there could be more victims.
34-year-old Maxwell Guss of Bradenton faces charges of two counts of Lewd and Lascivious conduct by a person over 18.
“Two students found the courage to come forward,” Judge said. “And let us know that some inappropriate behavior occurred involving Guss.”
According to Police Reports, victims say he adjusted their bra straps and clothing, and regularly called girls for “interviews” asking them personal questions like “do you have a boyfriend.” Sarasota Police also identified a third victim at Sarasota High.
“We learned that an incident was reported to school administration in 2017 also involving Guss,” Judge said. “Also involving inappropriate behavior was never reported to law enforcement by school administrators.”
According to police reports, the victim told administrators Guss would come up behind female students and massage their shoulders. The Assistant Principal told Police she “vaguely remember a written complaint and meeting with the student.”
“Actually we have no recollection and no records of any complaints filed by students in 2017,” Beeker said. “The only mishap that was reported verbally was the fact that Mr. Guss had hit a student over the head, she had a hoodie on and she was asking her to please remove it.”
Sarasota Schools say Guss has been on leave since the investigation started in September.
“The allegations as a whole are very shocking,” Judge said. “Because this a individual is arrested who is a teacher who parents in our community entrust with our children to learn, so it’s heartbreaking to know that a teacher is under arrest for these type of allegations.”
Sarasota Police believe there could be more victims.
“We’re really encouraging if anyone saw anything or they know anything,” Judge said. “Or they have additional information, or God forbid this happened to them, we’d encourage them to come forward so we can continue this case.”
Guss also worked as a teacher at Harllee Middle School and Bayshore High School in Manatee County. Anyone with information is asked to contact Sarasota Police.