Bond denied to former Lexington County kindergarten teacher charged in sexual assault

The suspect in a sexual assault against a Lexington County elementary school student will remain in jail at least until his next court date.

A judge at the Lexington County Detention Center denied bond to 42-year-old Hianlucas Isturiz Rodriguez on Friday, records show.

Rodriguez was a kindergarten Spanish immersion teacher at Red Bank Elementary in Lexington 1 school district. He was fired in 2017 after an investigation in sexual assault allegations made by a female student, the district said.

Lexington County Sheriff’s Department accused Rodriguez of assaulting the student “multiple times” while working at the school in 2016 and 2017. He was charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor, but before police could arrest him, he fled.

This past summer, authorities arrested Rodriguez in Ecuador. He was extradited and arrived in Lexington County on Thursday. Deputies jailed him at the Lexington County Detention Center.

At a 10 a.m. hearing Friday, the judge denied him bond, according to jail records.

When considering whether to allow a suspect to post a bond and await legal proceeding outside of jail, a magistrate judge considers if a suspect may try to flee to avoid court hearings. The judge also weighs whether the person is a risk to the community. If the judge has reason to believe that the suspect has a history of fleeing, might have an increased chance to flee or is a danger to others, the suspect is typically forced to remain in jail until the conclusion of all court proceedings for the criminal charges.

Rodriguez can appeal to have a bond in a higher court but as of Saturday afternoon, he is still jailed. His next appearance in that higher court has not been listed in public court records yet.

If convicted on the two offenses, Rodriguez faces a minimum of 50 years in prison and could be sentenced to life.