By Ryan Yousefi
Following claims from a 15-year-old girl that he took her to his home and masturbated in front of her, a Margate Middle School employee faces felony molestation charges.
On August 14, deputies from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a North Lauderdale residence located near the 400 block of Southwest 74th Avenue in response to reports of the sexual assault of an underaged victim.
According to the BSO’s report, a 15-year-old victim reported to law enforcement that a man, later identified as Maurice Powell, 31, of North Lauderdale, had conned her into coming to his home for something important, but instead immediately undressed and masturbated in front of her.
The victim explained to deputies that the incident began after Powell – who she has known for years and refers to as ‘Flash’ or ‘Uncle’ – called her to tell her he needed to pick her up to tell her something important in person.
Records show the victim told BSO that Powell first began acting inappropriately during the car ride to his home by making sexual comments and asking her if he could be nude in front of her.
Upon arrival at his home, the victim told law enforcement Powell first checked to make sure his daughters were asleep, then invited her into his bedroom, where he closed the door and commented, “Back to your prior conversation,” and began to undress, stating to the victim “I want you to see me naked.”
Feeling uncomfortable, the victim told deputies she quickly fled the living room and sat on the couch, but that Powell followed her, pleading for her to look at him, explaining that he likes to be seen naked because he’s a nudist.
Powell then allegedly came closer to the victim, sat next to her, and, at one point, began masturbating and requested she watch. The victim told deputies the incident reached a breaking point when Powell pulled her on his lap, and she could feel his erect penis.
The victim recounted to deputies that during the ordeal, there was an instance where Powell asked her if he could “Grab and smack” her butt before doing so over her clothes.
According to the victim, Powell asked her to “pinkie promise” to keep the incident between them, and remembering he had a firearm, she only text messaged her mother to reveal what had happened. As the girl’s mother arrived, she sprinted to the vehicle for safety and called 911.
The victim presented deputies with a video of Powell walking in her presence naked. Upon interview, Powell denied the victim’s claims that he masturbated but admitted to being naked in her presence.
Powell was arrested and transported to the Broward County Main Jail and has been charged with lewd and lascivious conduct, lewd and lascivious exhibition, two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation, and a weapons-related charge. His bond has been set at $175,000.
According to WPLG, Broward County Public Schools reported on Wednesday morning that as a result of the case, administrators decided to reassign Powell, so he can be away from children.
- Ryan Yousefi has lived in Coral Springs for over 30 years. He has worked as a writer for multiples outlets over the years, including the Miami New Times where he has covered sports and culture since 2013. He holds a Bachelor's Degree and a Master's Degree in Business Healthcare Management from Western Governors University.
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