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Ex-school worker accused of molesting children again | Crime

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Ex-school worker accused of molesting children again

Venice, Florida - A school is supposed to be a safe place, but two young girls who attended aftercare at Taylor Ranch Elementary have now reported being sexually molested by a school worker.

The girls say back in 2011 when they were in kindergarten and first grade, aftercare employee Tyler Kuntz touched their privates. The girls say it happened on the playground and inside the building.

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"They were comfortable to report what had happened to them and their parents took it seriously and reported it to the Sheriff's Office, so we could take a look," said Sarasota Sheriff's spokesperson Wendy Rose.

This isn't the first time Kuntz has been in this kind of trouble. In 2011, an 11-year-old Charlotte County boy accused Kuntz of fondling him, while Kuntz was his babysitter.

Court records indicate adjudication was withheld in that case, but Kuntz was still put on probation and labeled a sex offender by the state.

At that time, the Sarasota County School District notified parents of children in aftercare about the arrest and it's unclear why the two girls came forward about Kuntz now, nearly two years later.

"The stories were almost identical," said Rose. "But we think it might have had to do with conversations taking place that might have triggered the realization that this was wrong."

There is also possibility that more children could have been harmed. Prior to his first arrest, Kuntz was also involved in other area youth programs -- like civic and sports groups, so investigators are urging parents to speak with their children and report any suspicions.

Rose says, "Our detectives know how to talk to children and what questions to ask -- to let them tell their story."

A spokesman for the Sarasota County School District told 10 News a decision had not yet been made on whether or not to once again notify parents about Kuntz's arrest.