Former Jeff. Parish teacher’s aide groomed, raped, threatened 12-year-old, attorney says

A former teacher’s aide has been arrested and accused of raping a 12-year-old student, according to jail records. (Source: WVUE)
Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 4:35 PM CDT
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JEFFERSON PARISH, La. (WVUE) - A former teacher’s aide has been arrested and accused of raping a 12-year-old student, according to jail records and the victim’s attorney.

Sophia Canales, 22, was arrested Saturday morning in Kenner.

Canales previously worked at Stella Worley Middle School in Westwego. Education leaders in Jefferson Parish say she was employed as a paraprofessional, which provides classroom support for teachers, but said she no longer works for the school district.

“This was a textbook example of sexual grooming,” the victim’s attorney, Artis G. Ulmer, III said in a statement. “Ms. Canales used her school position to identify her victim. She then gained his trust by filling a financial need. And after isolating him from his parents, Ms. Canales sexualized the relationship. In her final act, she then began to assert control and literally threaten his life. My client didn’t deserve to have his innocence stolen, and his parents don’t deserve to have their son’s affection alienated by a pedophile. This child’s life will be forever destroyed. "

Ulmer provided FOX 8 with a voicemail Canales reportedly left on the juvenile’s phone. In it she says, in part “Hi boo. I miss you,” and threatens to “show up with a machete” if he was lying to her about whether his phone was dead or not.

Canales is facing an aggravated rape charge.

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