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South Florida Swim Instructor Facing Additional Molestation Charges

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - A South Florida swimming instructor who remains jailed after being accused of fondling young girls during swim lessons is now facing additional charges.

Daniel Diaz-Mejia, 20, was hit with two new counts of child molestation on Thursday.

Police said the girls were molested on different days.

One parent we spoke with was particularly upset.

"Like how many more are there. The number keeps going up," said Leandris Salomon.

Diaz-Mejia is accused of molesting five girls at the South Dade Park Aquatic Center.

"I feel that is gross. That is very disturbing. It is too close to home. I don't like it at all," said Salomon.

Salomon told CBS4's Peter D'Oench that he had a message for children in similar situations.

"Just speak up and talk to your parents," he said. "Don't be afraid and say whatever you can. You will not be in trouble. Just talk."

Salomon said he is very concerned about protecting the safety of youngsters. He said his two children swim at the same pool. And as a child, he used to swim there as well.

Miami-Dade police say Diaz-Mejia has confessed to assaulting girls who are between 7 and 9 years of age between July 15th and 19th.

He's been arrested 3 times for lewd and lascivious molestation on a child under the age of 12 and police say he has confessed to placing his fingers under the victims' bathing suits.

A study of arrest reports shows that the 8-year-old girl claimed she was molested at 5:30 p.m. on July 15th. The two 9-year-old girls claimed they were assaulted at 10:30 a.m. on July 16th. And the two 7-year-old girls told police they were molested at 11:15 a.m. on July 15th and at 12 noon on July 19th.

"The department is very concerned about him having access to so many children for swimming lessons that we are afraid that there may be other victims out there," said Miami-Dade police detective and spokesperson, Alvaro Zabaleta.

Zabaleta urges people to study Diaz-Mejia's face and determine if their children have had any inappropriate contact with him.

He had worked for the county for three years and had been a lifeguard since May. Before that CBS4 learned that he worked in Goulds Park.

On Thursday, he appeared in bond court on the new charges.

Diaz-Mejia was originally charged after two 9-year-old girls accused him of molestation.

All incidents reportedly occurred at the Helen Sands Pool at Southwest 280th Street and Southwest 163th Avenue.

During questioning, Diaz-Mejia admitted to the original allegations, according to his arrest report.

He remains in jail without bond.

Miami-Dade police say if you know of any other victims, call their sex crimes unit at (305) 715-3300.


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