Coral Springs Middle School custodian accused of molesting teenage boy

Robert Grant, 27, performed oral sex on victim in school gym, police say

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor , Carlos Suarez - Anchor/Reporter

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. - A custodian at Coral Springs Middle School was arrested Tuesday on allegations that he sexually battered a former student whom he mentored, authorities said.

Police said the 15-year-old boy and his mother went to the Coral Springs Police Department on Monday and told detectives about the incident, which they said happened on Saturday at the middle school.

"Here this person took advantage of the juvenile who had trusted him -- trusted him as a coach, as a mentor. It's very unfortunate," Sgt. Carla Kmiotek said.  

According to an arrest report, Robert Grant, 27, who mentored the teen, although the victim no longer attended the middle school, drove the victim to the middle school on Saturday to help the teen with his algebra homework.

The teen told detectives that Grant, who had keys to enter the school, led him to the school gym after they finished his homework and Grant instructed him to lay on the floor so he could stretch, although the teen didn't ask to be stretched.

Police said Grant stood over the teen, stretching his hamstring, before pulling down the victim's shorts and underwear and performing oral sex on him.

The victim told police that he "froze" and was scared to say anything because he didn't know what Grant would do next or whether Grant would kidnap him.

Detectives said the victim also disclosed that Grant would check on a prior injury he sustained in the groin area over the summer multiple times.

The teen said Grant placed his hands inside his pants on at least 10 occasions, groping his testicles for a few seconds each time.

According to the arrest report, surveillance video from the school at 10300 Wiles Road confirms that Grant was alone with the victim at the school between 6:21 p.m. and 9:24 p.m. on Saturday.

"I was surprised, because I know the man and I've talked to him before and I've seen him with the kids, and he's always been very nice to them," one parent, Wendy Shepard, said. 

Authorities said that besides being a custodian, Grant is also an assistant coach at the school for various sports for boys and girls.

"He was, like, always cool. He used to have their own handshake with kids. He never had a problem with anyone," one student, Alessandro Herrera, said. 

Police said Grant was arrested Tuesday at the school on multiple counts of lewd and lascivious molestation on a minor and sexual battery of a minor.

Parents who were picking up their children from school Wednesday told Local 10 News that Grant was well liked.

"All she said was that she knew the custodian. He was one of her favorite custodians," Marybeth Molina said. "He would come into the classroom to talk to the kids a lot. He was pretty popular amongst the kids." 

Detectives said Grant admitted to being alone with the teen at the school over the weekend, but denied all sexual allegations.

Police said Grant admitted to helping the teen stretch, although the victim didn't ask to be stretched and said that the teen also played basketball by himself.

Broward County Public School District officials said Grant has worked at the school since 2010 and has since been reassigned to work away from students. 

Grant appeared in court Wednesday, where he was ordered held without bond.

 

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