Frequent readers of this blog will know that I have been following the story of Kenneth Hagins, of Lake County, over the past couple of weeks. The Orlando Sentinel has added some new developments to the story.
As I have previously addressed, Mr. Hagins was arrested in Eustis last week on charges he sexually assaulted a disabled person in a group home where he worked, as well as a four-year-old child in a daycare where he volunteered. Of hearing allegations of child sexual abuse by Mr. Hagins, DCF revoked the license of Pat’s Kidz World Development Center. This is a harsh penalty, but probably appropriate where there are credible allegations of Florida child sexual abuse.
The owner of the daycare has gone on record as saying that she had no idea that Mr. Hagins was doing anything wrong, or was a danger to children. The Orlando Sentinel has now reported that Mr. Hagins was fired from his former job at Mount Dora Middle School in 2007 after it was discovered that he was downloading pornography to his school computer. Information regarding his dismissal from the Lake County School Board is publicly available – meaning if someone had performed a competent background check, it would have been made clear that Mr. Hagins should probably not be working around children.
As a Florida child sexual abuse attorney, I know that a thorough background check is critical in order to keep children safe. A thorough background check means more than just glancing at someone’s resume. It means actually calling or writing to references and former employers and asking probing questions about an adult’s fitness to work around children. The innocence and well-being of our children is too valuable to ignore this very important procedure.
If you have any questions regarding a Florida child sexual abuse case, call Winter Park sexual abuse attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-644-4444.