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Fairfax County Public Schools principal arrested for not reporting alleged child abuse of student

The arrest comes after police launched a year-long investigation on 31-year-old Mathew Snell, a former Thoreau Middle School teacher.
Credit: Fairfax County Police
A Fairfax County teacher was arrested for not reporting child abuse to CPS.

VIENNA, Va. — A school principal with Fairfax County Public Schools was arrested Wednesday for not reporting complaints of alleged child abuse of a student, Fairfax County Police said.

Fairfax County Police investigators learned that 41-year-old Yusef Azimi, Principal of Thoreau Middle School, was aware of a child abuse incident involving a former teacher and did not report it to Child Protective Services (CPS).

Police said the claims were reported to Azimi in Oct. 2019 but were not escalated by the principal as required by law.

Detectives put out an arrest warrant and charged Azimi with failure to report child abuse, police said. Azimi turned himself in Wednesday afternoon at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center where he was served the warrant 

Azimi was arrested and released on a $3,000 unsecured bond.

The arrest comes after police launched a year-long investigation on 31-year-old Mathew Snell, a former Thoreau Middle School teacher. The investigation included about 30 interviews and 24 search warrants, police said.

Snell was arrested on Oct. 2019 after parents found inappropriate text messages between him and a teen. Police said the teen reported the messages to the school and an investigation was launched by Detectives from the Major Crimes Bureau Child Abuse Squad.

Once Snell learned of the investigation, he fled to El Paso, Texas, in an attempt to leave the country, police said. He was tracked to the El Paso International Airport where he was arrested by the United States Marshals Service and extradited to Fairfax County to face charges.

On Nov. 19, Snell was facing an additional felony charge of taking indecent liberties with a child by a person in a custodial relationship after a second teen came forward. 

Police said he is being held without bond at the county’s Adult Detention Center.

Police ask anyone who thinks a child may be a victim of abuse, to call FCPD's Major Crimes Bureau detectives at 703-246-7800. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS or text “FCCS” plus tip to 847411. Fairfax County Child Protective services can also be contacted at Fairfax County Child Protective Services (CPS) Hotline 703-324-7400, TTY 711.

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