Celebration, Florida's First Murder Victim Sexually Abused Miami Beach Kids, Report Says

Categories: Crime
Matteo Giovanditto: murder victim had dark Miami Beach past
The brutal 2010 murder of Matteo Patrick Giovanditto was doubly shocking. It was the first killing in the idyllic, planned community of Celebration, Florida -- built by The Walt Disney Company near Disney World. Then there was the brutality of the crime: Giovanditto was found strangled with a shoelace and hacked with an ax in his condo.

But the horrible slaying was actually much weirder and worse than imagined. Giovanditto wasn't an innocent victim but a pedophile who had sexually abused boys across the country for years, according to a new article by The Daily Beast. And some of his victims were students of his at Lehrman Day, a private Jewish school in Miami Beach.

In the article, reporters Barbara Spindel and Maria Elena Fernandez use police reports and interviews with half a dozen of Giovanditto's former students to paint a picture of a sexual predator whose abusive habits led to his own grisly death.

The article describes two instances in which Giovanditto allegedly abused Florida children.

First, a mother tells how she sent her teenage son to Crossroads School (now called the Kentwood Preparatory School) in Davie. There, Giovanditto took her 10-year-old son under his wing, only for their relationship to abruptly sour after four years.

Celebration, FL.jpg
Bobak Ha'Eri via Wikimedia Commons
Downtown Celebration
When her son's marriage fell apart years later, the mother discovered that her son had been sexually abused by the Crossroads teacher. The abuse included "oral sex 'all the time, many times a week,'" according to the article.

In Miami Beach, at least one of Giovanditto's former students told The Daily Beast that he was abused by the Lehrman Day teacher.

"He's the person who introduced me to masturbation," the anonymous victim says in the article. "He never forced anything; he manipulated me. At one point, we were at his apartment -- I can't even give you the setup to how it happened ... All I remember -- almost as a challenge -- he would put it: 'You can't make me come.' So I rubbed his pants until he had an erection and then he came. It was like a dare. It didn't seem unusual at the time."

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DKDA Sueños de juventud (1999/2000)
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