Camp counselor arrested on molestation charges had been investigated in 2013

Prosecutors decided not to pursue case after 4 students came forward

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - A South Florida camp counselor accused this week of molesting a girl faced similar allegations of groping and inappropriate contact with young girls in 2013, but prosecutors did not pursue the case because they said they lacked the necessary evidence.

Christopher Falzone, 35, was arrested Monday after a girl who attended Camp Live Oak in Fort Lauderdale told police that Falzone had put his hands down her shorts about 15 times and touched her over her underwear.

According to police documents, Hollywood police investigated Falzone, then a substitute teacher at Sheridan Elementary School, after four students there said Falzone may have touched them inappropriately in 2013.

One girl told police that Falzone would briefly touch her buttocks when he hugged her on multiple occasions during school and on field trips.

Another girl told police that Falzone would frequently call her to his desk and he would fondle her buttocks over her clothes. The girl also said Falzone had touched a classmate's vagina, police said.

The third girl told police that Falzone fondled her buttocks and gave her back rubs, while the final girl said she wasn't sure whether Falzone had touched her inappropriately.

One mother told investigators that she was concerned because two of her daughters were friends with Falzone on Facebook and he would routinely send them direct messages.

By the end of the investigation, only the parents of one of girls decided to pursue criminal charges. The other parents advocated for the school district to handle the matter.

A Broward County Public Schools spokeswoman confirmed that Falzone previously worked as a substitute teacher for the district from October 2008 to October 2013.

When questioned, Falzone told police that any touching was accidental and that he did not do it for any type of sexual gratification.

The state attorney's office ultimately decided not to prosecute the case. According to the police report, Assistant State Attorney Lauren Covitz told the detective that some of the girls had lied in their statements to police and did not tell the detective everything that occurred.

"I am writing to inform you that this matter has been declined for prosecution by this office at this time," Covitz wrote in a letter to the parents.

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