SALEM — A physical education teacher at Saltonstall School from 2015 to 2018 was arrested at his home in North Andover on Wednesday night.
Daniel Hakim, 36, was due to be arraigned in Salem District Court on Thursday on 32 counts of aggravated indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, according to a statement issued by city officials Thursday morning. The charges involve 10 victims, all of whom were girls and students at Saltonstall at the time.
The district learned of the incidents in 2018 after “instances of improper conduct (were) brought to the attention of the Salem Public Schools district, which reports them, as required by law, to the state Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Salem Police Department, and the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.”
At that point, Hakim was suspended pending the outcome of the investigation; he never returned, and the DCF ultimately completed its investigation, finding that “the claims are deemed to be not prosecutable.” DESE revoked Hakim’s teaching license in 2020.
In 2021, another student came forward regarding an incident in 2016, the statement read. That prompted Salem police to conduct a five-month investigation, leading to the warrant and Hakim’s arrest on June 14.
The following statement was issued by Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll, Salem Police Chief Lucas Miller, and Salem Schools Superintendent Dr. Stephen Zrike.
“As community leaders and, most importantly, as parents we are sickened by the abuse from a trusted adult that these children were subjected to and the ongoing pain and trauma these young survivors and their families are and will continue to face. The actions for which Daniel Hakim has been arrested and charged are abominations. We are grateful for and applaud the cooperation of the victims and their families, their patience with the detailed investigation, and, above all, their courage in coming forward. Additionally, on behalf of our entire community, we are deeply appreciative for the diligence and commitment of the Salem Police CID (Criminal Investigation Division) detective — herself a mother — who took on this important case to ensure that justice was done for these victims, and for the perseverance of the members of the District Attorney’s Office.
“In support of our school community during this difficult time, Salem Public Schools has been and will continue to provide ongoing resources for students and families who have been impacted by this incident,” the statement continues. “Lastly, we know that any allegation of inappropriate interactions with children is disturbing and concerning, however we are limited in the information we can share beyond this statement, both for legal reasons due to the ongoing case and for student privacy. Nevertheless, we are all of us fully committed to the safety and well-being of the students who attend Salem Public Schools and are therefore prepared to work with prosecutors to ensure the fullest accountability of the law in this terrible case. This arrest and today’s arraignment show the strength of victims and survivors when they are supported and empowered to step out of the shadows to tell their accounts.”
The district declined further comment, citing “the pending legal actions against Mr. Hakim, the status of the investigation, and the privacy concerns around the children.”