SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — An employee with the Sioux City Community School District has been accused of sexually assaulting multiple students over several years, and the behavior went unreported by students for so long because it had been “normalized.” 

According to complaint documents, Abdier Marrero, 40, of Sioux City and former employee of the Sioux City Community School District, was arrested Tuesday after a warrant resulting from multiple complaints of inappropriate behavior with students.  

The documents stated that Marrero had been employed with the school district since August 2007, when he was hired as a sports coach. Marrero obtained an “Initial Professional Service License – Professional School Counselor” in January 2020 before he took the position of a guidance counselor in August 2020. The documents specified that the license allowed him to perform instruction or instruction-related duties in schools, so Marrero was able to serve as both counselor and coach until he resigned in December.  

The documents stated that in December of 2021, a student-athlete came forward, and she initially allegedly claimed that Marrero would continuously call her out of class to come to his office as well as touching her buttocks inappropriately on several occasions. The documents also stated that she recalled Marrero making sexual statements about the two of them on their wedding night.  

It was specified in the documents that additional student-athletes came forward with similar stories of Marrero’s inappropriate behavior and comments about their bodies. The documents stated that these students claimed that they felt uncomfortable when Marrero touched them, but they didn’t call attention to it because it had been happening for so long that it had become normalized.  

The documents indicated that after several students began coming forward with alleged conduct by Marrero from 2018 to 2021, The Sioux City Community School District began an investigation into the student’s claims.  

Marrero was interviewed two times as part of the investigation by the school district, according to the documents, and he admitted to slapping the girl’s buttocks, making inappropriate statements, and sending text messages to students that were not related to school or the sports that he coached.  

The investigation reached the Sioux City Police Department, according to the documents, and the students also told law enforcement about how Marrero would slap their buttocks in his office, at practice, and at sporting events. One student claimed to have seen him touching a student athlete’s chest inappropriately, another student allegedly claimed that she would be called into Marrero’s office regularly where he would hug her and touch her buttocks. The documents stated that the student also stated that he would look at her as she “covered up,” and he allegedly made statements about being her future husband so she should wait until their wedding night to “cover-up.” The documents indicated that an additional student told law enforcement that Marrero would joke around while inappropriately touching her chest.  

Multiple students allegedly told law enforcement that Marrero would make comments about the girl’s buttocks, how other boys looked at their buttocks “because it is so nice,” and how they would look in revealing or tight-fitting athletic clothes, like those in the Olympics, according to the documents. It was specified that multiple students told officials that they didn’t bring up the behavior or comments to any authority figures because the behavior had been “normalized.”  

The Sioux City Community School District released the following statement,

Abdier Marrero resigned from his position as a counselor and cross country coach at North High School effective December 14, 2021. As with all personnel matters, we cannot provide additional information. 

Sioux City Community School’s official statement

A warrant for Marrero’s arrest was issued on Friday and served on Tuesday. He was charged with sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist and his bond was set at $20,000.