Former CofC adjunct professor accused of sexually assaulting two boys

Former CofC adjunct professor accused of sexually assaulting two boys

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A former College of Charleston adjunct professor is behind bars after being accused of molesting two young brothers, according to an incident report.

Lazaro Vega-Sanabria, 50, was arrested Thursday and charged with two counts of first degree assault and battery and one count of criminal sexual conduct with a minor under 11 years old.

The North Charleston police report states one of the children, a special needs student, alerted his teachers on April 10 that Vega-Sanabria inappropriately touched him.

Police say the student claimed the suspect told both victims that he needed to "check their privates for proper development." After initially refusing and saying he would rather go to the doctor, Vega-Sanabria reportedly advised that he used to be a doctor himself and needed to make sure his penis was healthy. The victim told police Vega-Sanabria then inspected his privates while writing down notes.

Authorities say the the victim alleged Vega-Sanabria once again molested him on April 9, this time saying he needed to help clean the victim.

The report states police then spoke with the victim's brother, who told authorities Vega-Sanabria also inspected his privates sometime during the month of March. The child told police Vega-Sanabria was wearing "white or yellow doctor like gloves" when he touched him.

Vega-Sanabria is listed on the College of Charleston's website as an adjunct professor of Spanish. The college issued a statement about Vega-Sanabria late Thursday.

"Upon receiving notice of serious charges of off-campus criminal conduct by Adjunct Professor Lazaro Vega-Sanabria, the College of Charleston took immediate action and issued an order barring Vega-Sanabria from campus and prohibiting him from having any interaction with students," the statement reads. "Vega-Sanabria's employment with the College will be terminated," it added.

Vega-Sanabria passed a college-mandated nationwide background check prior to being hired in August, 2013, college spokesperson Mike Robertson said.

According to police, Vega-Sanabria is in the process of adopting two children. He has already signed a six-month pre-placement agreement with the Department of Social Services, officials say.

Vega-Sanabria was being held at the Charleston County Detention Center. His bond was set at $30,000.

Vega-Sanabria's lawyer says his client "vehemently denies any wrongdoing and criminal acts" alleged by the victims. According to Vega Sanabria's lawyer, his client's education background includes receiving a doctorate in Special Education from Nova Southeastern University.

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