Deputies: Father, son accused of molesting young girls for several years

Both men being held without bail, deputies say

DeLAND, Fla. – A father and his son are facing charges after the men were accused of molesting two young girls for several years, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies said Leslie Ross Sr., 70, and his 47-year-old son, Leslie Ross Jr., were accused of molesting the girls, who are now 11 and 13 years old, repeatedly since 2006.

The investigation began in February after someone reported the allegations to authorities, deputies said. Since then, the the Sheriff's Office said the girls have provided detectives with consistent details that reveal a pattern of abuse by the men.

Ross Sr. was investigated in 2006 when he was accused of sexually battering one of the victims, and similar allegations were brought against him again in 2007, deputies said. The Sheriff's Office said investigators filed sexual battery charges against him with the State Attorney's Office, but the case was not prosecuted.

Ross Jr. worked as a teacher's assistant at Discovery Elementary in 1996 and started working as a teacher at Taylor Middle-High School in 1997. He was investigated in 2006 regarding his involvement with a Taylor student, deputies said. He resigned the day after the accusations were made and the Florida Department of Education banned him from working anywhere in the Volusia County School District, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Both of the men turned themselves in to authorities Tuesday and were charged with sexual battery and lewd or lascivious molestation. They are being held in the Volusia County Jail without bail.