DAVENPORT, Fla. (WFLA) – A dean at a Polk County elementary school failed to report that girls were being molested on a school bus, which allowed the abuse continue Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said on Tuesday.
Deputies on Monday arrested Horizons Elementary School Dean of Students, 34-year-old Courtney Stanley, on two felony counts of failure to report child abuse.
Bus driver Carlos Ojeda was already facing ten counts of capital sexual battery in connection with the alleged molestation of students on his school bus. Detectives say he lured the girls with candy.
Dean Stanley’s arrest came after two students reported the sexual battery of female children on the bus to him. “Carlos is bad because he is touching girls on the bus,” said Sheriff Judd describing what the boys told Stanley.
However, Stanley did not report the information to DCF, school officials, or law enforcement. Judd said Stanley told the students, “If he does it again, let me know.”
Judd said that Stanley’s failure to report the allegations led to additional abuse for one of the victims. “One of the children was abused three more times because he didn’t report it,” said Judd
Detectives say the same two witnesses also informed a school counselor about the abuse on April 13. The counselor immediately reported the abuse.
“We’re absolutely livid about the dean not making the report,” said Judd, at a news conference he held with Polk Schools Superintendent Jacqueline M. Byrd,.
Stanley was remorseful after his arrest. Judd said that Stanley told deputies, “I could have been her voice.” Stanley has been suspended and could lose his job.
Judd said deputies are continuing to investigate the case.
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