South Florida camp counselor accused of molesting girl

Christopher Lawrence Falzone, 35, previously accused of inappropriate touching

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A camp counselor in Fort Lauderdale was arrested Monday on accusations that he molested a girl who attended the summer camp where he works, authorities said.

According to an arrest report, Christopher Lawrence Falzone, 35, met the victim in June while she attended Camp Live Oak in Fort Lauderdale.

Fort Lauderdale police said they were contacted Aug. 3 by the victim's mother after she heard her daughter on the phone with someone who had a "grown man's voice."

According to the arrest report, the mother took her daughter's phone and saw that the girl was on a Facebook Messenger call with Falzone.

Police said the woman asked her daughter whether Falzone had ever touched her and the girl started crying and said, "Yes."

Fort Lauderdale police detectives questioned the victim, who said that Falzone had put his hands down her shorts about 15 times and touched her over her underwear.

She said at times she would feel uncomfortable and would move away from him, which caused him to stop touching her.

According to authorities, Falzone also told the girl that he loved her and invited her to go bowling with his third-grade class.

The girl, however, told detectives that she never saw Falzone outside of camp.

According to the victim, Falzone touched her inappropriately at the camp, on field trips and on a bus.

Police reviewed Facebook Messenger conversations between Falzone and the girl, the arrest report stated.

According to the report, the girl wrote Falzone in one instance, "Hi. I already miss you." 

Police said Falzone responded, "Aww. I miss you too."

The girl then wrote, "I want you," according to the report.

Police said Falzone responded, "Awwww."

Authorities said Falzone was questioned Monday and admitted to saying "I love you" in the victim's ear. When questioned about the touching, Falzone said he didn't recall ever touching the girl, but said that he was not calling the girl a liar, the arrest report stated.

Falzone was arrested on a charge of lewd and lascivious conduct on a minor. 

The girl's age was redacted from the arrest report.

A neighbor told Local 10 News reporter Neki Mohan that she was shocked by the accusations. She said Falzone often kept to himself.

"He is a loner. He is definitely a loner," she said. "He has two dogs in there and he spends some time with his brother. I see his brother every now and then, but never -- he's just very isolated and alone, for sure -- doesn't open up his curtains." 

A Broward County Public Schools spokeswoman confirmed that Falzone previously worked as a substitute teacher for the district from October 2008 to October 2013. He currently works at Renaissance Charter School at Cooper City.  

"We have been made aware of allegations and the arrest of one of our teachers regarding activities that occurred over the summer at a summer camp," Renaissance Charter School spokeswoman Colleen Reynold said. "Our highest priority is the safety and security of our students and the employee is on leave pending the outcome of the investigation."

According to a separate police report, Falzone was previously investigated in June 2013 when he was teaching at Sheridan Hills Elementary in Hollywood.

Police said Falzone was accused of inappropriately touching at least four female students at the school.

However, the Broward State Attorney's Office ultimately declined to formally charge Falzone in the case. 

Copyright 2018 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.