A Missouri high school janitor is accused of sexually abusing a student with Down Syndrome, officials reported. The incident is said to have taken place in the Rockwood School District in St. Louis County. According to KTVI, the janitor, identified as 50-year-old Robert Smith allegedly made non-consensual contact with the special education student at the Eureka Senior High School on February 11.
A resource officer at the school was notified about the incident. Prosecutors alleged that the student with special needs was incapable of offering consent and the janitor was well aware of this.
The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office noted that Villa Ridge resident, Smith was charged with first-degree sexual abuse in connection with the incident. His bail was set at $300,000.
The janitor was suspended without pay
On Thursday, in a letter to parents, Eureka Senior High principal, Corey Sink noted that not only Smith was suspended without pay, but he was also banned from school district property. The identity of the victim was not clear at the moment.
Principal Sink also assured the parents that the school administration is working in full cooperation with the Eureka Police Department as well as taking the 'appropriate steps in our school to ensure the safety of our students, which is at the forefront of all that we do.' Sink also added that the district requires all the employees to pass a criminal background check before being hired.
"We take any allegations of this nature very seriously, and we will do everything in our power to assist the investigators and ensure the safety of all of our students," Sink said, before adding that he's not at the liberty to share more details about the case since its an active investigation.
If convicted of the crime, Smith faces between three and 10 years in state prison and a $10,000 fine.