Trial continues for former school janitor accused of molesting several students

Ex-Coral Springs Middle School janitor stands trial

Wednesday marked the first day in the trial of a former school janitor who is facing some very serious charges. 

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The second day of the trial of a former school janitor got underway as two victims testified that they were touched inappropriately.

Robert Grant, 29, a former sports coach and custodian at Coral Springs Middle School, is accused of molesting several students there. 

One of the victims, who is currently a junior in high school, continued his testimony Thursday. During the first day of proceedings, the accuser made some damning allegations while speaking about an incident in a parking lot. 

"He reaches over with his two hands and reaches out my hands in the waistband, and he'll touch my testicles for a couple seconds," the victim stated. 

On Thursday, the victim was cross-examined. He told the court that at the time, he didn't believe some of the touching was sexual, but said that after his mother got involved, that's when he thought it was wrong.

During testimony by the boy's mother, the defense announced that she had recorded her son tellling the story about the incident and she provided the recording to police. Defense attorney James Lewis questioned the mother as to why she would record her son. "In the middle of the night,  your kid tells you this, and you break out a phone and record him? That seems sketchy," Lewis stated.

Grant was initially arrested in October 2017. 

In another instance, school surveillance video showed Grant was on campus for several hours with the then-15-year-old victim who took the stand Wednesday. The teen told police Grant performed oral sex on him while they were stretching. The victim stated that froze in fear.

A second victim testified Thursday that Grant "touched him when they were stretching."

During opening statements Wednesday, the state argued that Grant abused his position of power and is responsible for these crimes. 

"This was no accident," said state attorney Erika Hernandez. "This was not the first time Robert Grant was in that school with one boy."

But the defense claims the case is based solely on allegations and no evidence, and raises questions about the credibility of one of the accusers.

"I think you're going to find that the victim in this case is a troubled young man," said Lewis. "That he had some issues ⁠— in terms of, believe it or not, that Robert was spending too much time with other kids and that he wasn't maybe getting the attention that he thought he should have gotten from Robert."


About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.