Polk County authorities arrested bus driver Carlos Ojeda on 10 counts of sexual battery by an adult on a child under the age of 12 last Wednesday. On Monday, the Tampa Tribune said, they arrested the person they say enabled the last several acts of abuse: Horizons Elementary School dean Courtney Stanley.
Stanley faces two felony counts of failure to report child abuse, the Tribune and other outlets reported. Bail was set at $2,000.
“We are absolutely livid about the dean not making a report,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a Tuesday news conference, according to WFLA Channel 8.
That report says Judd told reporters two boys told Stanley they saw Ojeda, 72, molesting female students, but Stanley didn’t relay that to any authorities. Instead, the 34-year-old Stanley told the boys to tell him if it happened again, according to Judd. The boys later told a school counselor, who reported the charges. Judd said Ojeda molested one student three more times between Stanley being told of the abuse and the authorities learning of it.
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A WFTS report says Ojeda allegedly lured girls to him on the bus with offers of candy and would stick his hand down their pants fronts. Judd told reporters Ojeada, a bus driver for nine years in Davenport and Haines City, targeted special needs kids with limited communication skills.
The WFLA report says Judd told reporters Stanley said in regret after his arrest, “I could have been her voice.”