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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Gainesville Catholic school teacher arrested for molesting students

Police believe more victims might’ve been affected

A physical education teacher and coach at St. Patrick Interparish School in Gainesville was arrested Thursday for allegedly molesting several middle school girls.

Christopher Charles Chell, 46, was arrested by the Gainesville Police Department on 10 counts of lewd or lascivious molestation of a minor. Each charge is a second-degree felony that carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

Over several months, Chell used his position to gain the trust of multiple middle school girls. His actions escalated from “inappropriate touching to criminal acts,” according to a GPD press release.

Chell is currently being held at the Alachua County Jail on a $1 million bond. The State Attorney’s Office has indicated they will seek to detain Chell until his trial, according to court documents.

Detectives believe Chell may have impacted more victims. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Sergeant John Pandak at (352) 393-7734.

Contact Daniel Bednar at dbednar@alligator.org. Follow him on X @Danielbednar5. 

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Daniel Bednar

Daniel Bednar is a first-year political science major and the Criminal Justice reporter for The Alligator. When he's not writing, you can find him scuba diving in the Keys or flying airplanes. 


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