BELLEVIEW, Fla. – A Marion County elementary teacher was arrested on allegations of inappropriately touching a boy at the school, police said.
Kevin Tindall, 47, a veteran music teacher at Belleview Elementary School since 2002, was arrested on charges of lewd and lascivious molestation on a victim less than 12 years of age.
Authorities said they were informed about the allegation on Jan. 9. That day, police arrived to the elementary school, where the alleged contact took place, and escorted Tindall out. He has been placed on administrative leave and has not been back on the campus since then.
A criminal investigation showed there was probable cause to arrest Tindall, who was taken to the Marion County Jail, police said.
Marion County Public Schools spokesman Kevin Christian said the district recieved a complaint about Tindall's behavior in 2008.
The complaint alleges Tindall touched two children in various areas, including squeezing one boy's upper thigh, hips and arm and patting him on the chest. Another boy told authorities that Tindall reached toward his groin, but did not touch him, after the student complained of pain the area.
Christian said when the State Attorney's Office refused to file charges based on the complaint, the district issued Tindall a "letter of counseling." The letter urged him to never again engage in physical contact with students at the risk of being fired.
The school district is investigating the most recent allegations against Tindall.
"It is never appropriate for employees, including teachers, to have such physical contact with students," Christian said. "We are grateful the student came forward so we could act immediately."
An investigation is ongoing, and it's unclear if there are any other victims, police said. Christian said the police investigation and the school district's internal investigation will determine if Tindall stays employed.
Tindall is being held at the Marion County Jail on $50,000 bond.
Anyone with information about potential victims is asked to call police at 352-245-7044. Officials encouraged Belleview Elementary School parents to have serious discussions with their children about any potential inappropriate contact with Tindall.
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