South Florida

He was wanted for incest and sex crimes in Canada. Yet he worked in a Florida school.

Owen Headley, who was wanted on charges of sexual assault, incest and sexual exploitation in Canada, was arrested Aug. 29, 2018, in Delray Beach.
Owen Headley, who was wanted on charges of sexual assault, incest and sexual exploitation in Canada, was arrested Aug. 29, 2018, in Delray Beach. U.S. Marshals Service

A former Palm Beach County teacher wanted by Canadian authorities for sexual assault, incest and sexual exploitation was arrested Wednesday after hiding in the back bedroom of his Delray Beach home, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

Owen Headly, 55, is now facing extradition to Canada.

“The U.S. Marshals and their their international partners remain vigilant in pursuing fugitives that may endanger children in our communities,“ said Manny Puri, assistant chief deputy marshal, Southern District of Florida.

According to the U.S. Marshals, Headly, who taught fifth grade at Hammock Point Elementary School in Boca Raton, was removed from the school by Palm Beach school police last year after “allegations” surfaced. He had been assigned to maintenance duties away from children, the Marshals Service said.

Peel Regional Police, a law enforcement agency covering an area about 45 minutes west of Toronto, confirmed Wednesday night this has to do with a case being investigated by them. No other information on the incident, including when it happened, was immediately available.

Records show Headley apparently attended the University of Florida in the 1980s because there was a $2,232 judgment against him by the Board of Regents of State of Florida and the time in Gainesville.

From 1992-96, records show that Headley was in St. Cloud, Minnesota; it’s not clear what he was doing there. He was in Minneapolis from 2001-03 and a public school teacher for at least part of that time.

According to Sunbiz, Headley operated O & H Construction from 2009-2010 and OH Home Maintenance Services from 2006-07 out of his home in Delray Beach. He was a director at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church of Delray Beach from 2008-10.

Headley faced a magistrate judge Wednesday morning and was ordered to remain in custody, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Headley’s nephew, Ian Headley, told the Palm Beach Post Wednesday that he couldn’t speculate on the charges and wasn’t aware that his uncle had been in Canada. 

“He helped a lot of people, changed a lot of lives,” Ian Headley told the paper.



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