BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. - Broward County public school teacher Wyman Gresham was in court Friday facing felony charges of sexual misconduct after three female students -- ages 12, 13 and 15 -- made allegations of misconduct against him.
Gresham is charged with lewd and lascivious molestation and lewd and lascivious conduct after allegations were brought forth that he hugged the students and touched their buttocks at the Lauderhill 6-12 Magnet School.
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The Broward County School Board took Gresham out of the school in December after the complaints surfaced and a police investigation began, relegating him to the school book depository building, where he had no contact with children.
The charges came after a Local 10 investigation found that Gresham had a long history of such complaints, dating back more than 15 years, yet the Broward County School Board allowed him to continue teaching.
Prosecutor Amanda Graham detailed the past allegations in court Friday.
"The defendant's actions date back to 1998, where he had offered a 13-year-old girl money to strip and perform sexual acts," she told Broward County Circuit Judge Andrew Siegel. "In 2002, he touched another girl's hip area and made inappropriate comments to her. (From) 2007 to 2010, there was another girl, who was a close family friend, who he asked to send pictures. And then, in 2015, he actually physically abused a student."
Based on two of those sexual misconduct complaints, the Florida commissioner of education filed an administrative complaint against Gresham in 2006, seeking to suspend or revoke his teaching certificate.
Gresham did not contest the allegations, but was able to settle the case with a written reprimand, a $1,000 fine, submission to a psychological evaluation and three years of employment probation.
The Broward County School Board allowed him to continue teaching until the latest complaints surfaced.
In fact, Gresham is still employed by the school district while he faces the criminal charges.
Gresham's defense attorney, John Cotrone, asked Siegel on Friday to take Gresham off house arrest and allow to return to work at the school book depository, where he is not in contact with children.
Siegel kept Gresham on house arrest, but said he could also go to work as an exception.
"The only place he'll be able to go is from his house to the book depository, and then the book depository back to his house," Siegel said.
The school board has yet to explain why it allowed Gresham to continue teaching after receiving so many complaints about him.
When questioned about the case in February, prior to Gresham's arrest, Superintendent Robert Runcie couldn't answer the question, saying the settlement was made prior to him becoming superintendent.
In a text, school board spokeswoman Tracy Clark said the board continues to keep Gresham employed because of his rights to due process, and that a decision will be made on his employment when the board's own investigation is completed.
Graham seemed incredulous that Gresham was still on the payroll.
"I don't know why the school board still has him hired," she said in court.
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