Panama City -- Three teenage victims have accused 8th grade Social Studies teacher, William Crews, 59, of having sex with them. Crews is in the Bay County Jail, charged with lewd or lascivious battery, molestation, and exhibition.
Wednesday, Bay County Sheriff Deputies received a tip Crews had been having sex with 14 and 15 year old male students from Deane Bozeman. The alleged victims told investigators the longtime teacher would befriend them at school, then invite them to a storage unit he had been renting on Highway 77, since 1999.
“We executed a search warrant at the location last night and we did find information that corroborates with the statements of the victim, specifically a television VCR and pornographic tape and a (blowup doll-style) sex toy” said Major Tommy Ford, Bay County Sheriff’s Office.
The boys say most of the sexual activity took place in the storage unit, but they say Crews also had encounters with the boys during out of town trips. Prior to this incident, Crews had clean employment record and high performance evaluations with the Bay County School District. Bay District Schools Superintendent, Bill Husfelt says he was disgusted when he heard about Crews’ arrest Thursday night.
“The victims in this are the students and that’s the main thing and if any of these allegations are true…I don’t think it can be anymore serious” said Bill Husfelt, Bay District Superintendent.
Crews is just the latest Deane Bozeman employee to face legal problems in the past twelve months. The most recent, Principal Bill Payne, resigned last fall after an investigation found he was having inappropriate relations with a subordinate. In February of 2011, former girl’s teacher soccer coach, Daryl Shumate was arrested for marijuana possession on school property.
The current Deane Bozeman Principal, Josh Balkom has been principal of the school for just a few months following Payne’s resignation and after having a faculty meeting Friday morning, he says the school’s students and staff must continue moving forward.
“What’s most important is that our students are safe, and that we take care of our students and that will be our priority moving forward” said Josh Balkom, Deane Bozeman Principal.
Sheriff investigators say they expect to file more charges against Crews as more victims come forward. Crews has been suspended with pay, but Husfelt says he’s planning to recommend Crews’ termination to the school board.