Kim Cullen provides tips for protecting your loved ones from sexual predators and abuse. A man accused of sexually abusing 6 children at a daycare as well as residents at an elderly home had been discharged from a former position for inappropriate sexual behavior. If a thorough investigation had been done into his background, he may not have been hired at the daycare to begin with.
A story has come to my attention out of Lake County. Which is the county adjoining Orange County where I am right now. Apparently over the last couple years the same gentleman has abused several countless children and disabled adults; sexually abused them in different settings. I want to share with you some thoughts about that and some ideas that I have in order for you to protect your children or loved ones.
The gentleman in question that has been accused and arrested for sexual abuse, at the time he was arrested, he working basically at two jobs. He was a, some sort of a health care worker in a adult disabled group home, and he was also volunteering as a helper at a pre-school in Eustis, Florida in Lake County.
Apparently at about the same time, the police were confronted with information that one of the residents of the group home had claimed to be sexually abused and a very young child at day care had also come forward with allegations of sexual abuse. An investigation was done in coordination between law enforcement and the department of children and families and it was determined that there were some legitimacy in the complaints. DCF ended up shutting down the day care and yanking their license, because DCF felt like they owner of the day care had prior notice that abuse was occurring and didn’t do anything about it. Turns out that this gentleman, this helper ended up abusing six kids in the day care and two or three disabled adults in the group home. This looks like it’s going to be a pretty big case.
At the same time, one of the local television stations did a little investigation and determined that the accused gentleman, the person that was arrested for child sexual abuse had also been recently fired from a middle school in Lake County for downloading pornography onto one of the school’s computers. This information was publicly available if anyone had asked or looked for this information they could have found out that this gentleman had been discharged for this kind of behavior and that probably would have been something that somebody would have want to know before they allowed him to volunteer or hire him.
The lesson here is this, that any time a person is hired by an institution to become involved with children, they need to be thoroughly background checked. And a background check does not mean just looking at a guy’s resume, asking him a few questions and sticking out your hand and hiring them. A thorough background means calling the people that he’s worked for, looking into why he was separated from these previous jobs. And that, quite obviously was not done either at the daycare or at the group health home.
This gentleman’s now in jail. I don’t know if he’s bonded out but he’s facing some very serious charges, as quite rightly he should be facing such charges. We’re going to hope it works out for all the people who had been abused on the criminal side. On the civil side, I just hope that these different entities had adequate insurance, liability insurance because it looks like they’re going to be some fairly significant claims coming out of this situation.
If you have any questions about a sexual abuse case anywhere in Florida, please call me or my partner Bob Hemphill at 407-644-4444.