Wed, Jul 24, 2024
Jury seated in case against former Chappell Schools employee

Jury seated in case against former Chappell Schools employee

  • PublishedJune 17, 2024

If convicted, Anthony Guadalupe would face a minimum sentence of 103 years in prison.

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — UPDATE: Opening statements are set to begin Tuesday after a jury was seated in the case against the former Chappell Schools assistant teacher charged with more than 20 counts of child sexual abuse

The jury was seated Monday morning for Anthony Guadalupe‘s trial.

In July 2022, then-18-year-old Guadalupe was arrested on multiple child molestation charges after parents claimed he inappropriately touched their children at the Chappell Schools.

Prosecutors said classroom surveillance footage showed a “brazen” assault on a 4-year-old child by Guadalupe, one of several alleged assaults that occurred between May 26, 2022, and July 18, 2022. 

He pleaded guilty to 14 counts of child molestation in October 2023 but withdrew his plea months later. Guadalupe then pleaded not guilty to additional molestation charges, totaling more than 20 counts of lewd and lascivious molestation on a victim less than 12 years old.

RELATED: Former Chappell Schools employee has guilty plea withdrawn, facing 21 counts on child sexual abuse charges

The move derailed the ‘negotiated’ sentence of 35 years to life in prison when he had pleaded guilty to the charges. 

If convicted, Guadalupe faces a minimum sentence of 103 years in prison.

In March, Guadalupe underwent a psychological evaluation the same day his attorney filed a notice to the court that he planned to use an insanity defense. 

Guadalupe’s attorney argued there were “reasonable grounds” to believe he was legally insane at the time the alleged crimes were committed, court documents show.

On Wednesday, Guadalupe’s attorney filed a motion, withdrawing the intent to rely on an insanity defense during the trial, documents show. The filing comes after the completion of Guadalupe’s final evaluations.

READ MORE: Former Chappell Schools employee charged with child sex crimes withdraws insanity defense

“Based on the results and testimony of both experts, defendant does not believe he meets the requirements to go forward with an insanity defense,” the document states.

Opening statements are set to begin Tuesday morning. 

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