TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa police arrested a school security officer accused of sexually abusing a 6-year-old student.

Malcolm Curtis Tillman, 22, is charged with sexual battery on a child younger than 12 years old. 

Police said the alleged battery happened at Booker T. Washington Elementary School, where the security guard worked and where the child was a student.

Tampa police say the victim told her mom about the incident. Her mom called the school and the school alerted police.

Steve Hegarty with Tampa Police said they started their investigation by interviewing the six-year-old girl.

“She knew that she was uncomfortable with it. She knew that it was something bad. But she had to describe it as best she could. We had an adult who was denying that happened which is a classic she said he said but once you have DNA evidence, there's no explaining that.”

Hegarty said the girl told police that Tillman took her into an empty classroom, covered her eyes with a jacket and assaulted her.

A spokesperson with Hillsborough County Public Schools said Tillman had been working in the school since October and passed a background check, psychological evaluation, and had extensive training. He was hired to meet the new state mandate under the Guardian program requiring every school in Florida have an armed, trained officer on campus.

Police say Tillman denied the allegation but said he had been alone with the child in a classroom. The investigation turned up physical evidence from the classroom that supports the victim's account, police said. 

Tillman has since been terminated.

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