A Polk County School Board employee has been arrested following an incident with a young girl.
Jose Baez-Ortiz, 49, was arrested Tuesday for allegedly inappropriately touching a 6-year-old girl at Davenport School of the Arts, where he works as a janitor.
A police report from Polk County Sheriff's Office says Baez-Ortiz approached the student while she was eating lunch, sat next to her and put his hand up her skirt.
The student was wearing her uniform which has shorts underneath the skirt. Soon after, a lunchroom aid reported the incident.
A statement from Polk County Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd said she intends to recommend termination of his employment. Baez-Ortiz has been suspended without pay.
“The charges against this employee are disturbing,” said Superintendent Jacqueline M. Byrd. “This type of behavior is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated. I have reviewed information from the Sheriff’s Office."
Following the arrest, parents were given an automated phone call.
Dear parents and family members,
This message is being sent on behalf of Davenport School of the Arts. We want to notify you that one of our custodial employees, Jose Baez-Ortiz, was arrested today by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office on allegations of inappropriate touching of a student. We have notified the proper authorities and are cooperating fully with the Sheriff’s Office as they continue their investigation. If you have any information to report, please contact Lieutenant Ian Rylott at 863-298-6327. We take these allegations very seriously and will work to ensure the safety of our students. Thank you.