JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A private school Bible teacher and soccer coach went before a judge Saturday morning after being charged with having unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
Aaron Zuniga, 28, was arrested at his Westside home Friday night and faced a judge as the charges against him were read in court Saturday.
He faces two second-degree felony charges involving accusations he had sex with a student.
The former Trinity Christian Academy teacher sat with head bowed down for his first court appearance.
He lives in a neighborhood across the street from the school and neighbors said the accusations are disturbing because Zuniga has a wife and children.
“He’s a nice guy. I know who he is. I watched him walk his daughter. It's just weird to hear something like that. You wouldn’t expect it around here,” neighbor Matthew Gile said.
The school notified teachers and parents on Thursday that a teacher had been fired for having an inappropriate relationship with a student. A former student said Zuniga was a well known Bible teacher and soccer coach, known as Mr. Z.
"He was popular amongst the kids. So everyone (would) kinda talk to him and (usually) hung out with him," former student James Baltz said.
The school sent out a statement reading in part, “We are deeply saddened by this situation because it is so far removed from the standards and values to which we hold our faculty and embrace as a school.”
The school also sent an email to parents offering care and support for the student and families affected.
Zuniga is being held on $200,000 bond. His next court date is set for April 15.