Malcolm Curtis Tillman, a 22-year-old security officer from Tampa who works at Booker T. Washington Elementary School was arrested last Wednesday (January 23) and was charged with sexual battery after it was proved that he sexually assaulted a six-year-old girl in the game room. The authorities said that he blindfolded the student first, before proceeding with his activities. Investigators received evidence of his DNA from the forensics that supported the allegations made by the young girl. As reported by Tampa Bay Times, Tillman was hired on the job on July 1, 2018, last year, as said by the school district spokesman. The school was required to boost their security staff after under a new state mandate to station a guardian at every elementary school.
The six-year-old did not keep quiet about the incident. She reported to the investigators that Tillman took her out of the classroom and into the game room on January 10. He made the girl sit down on a chair and then proceeded to tie her hands behind her back, according to an arrest report and a search warrant affidavit filed in the case. The affidavit also says that Tillman told the little girl that he was going to take care of her and everything would be alright before he covered the girl’s eyes and nose with a black jacket.
The documents suggest that he “told (her) not to be scared,” after covering her eyes with the jacket and then went on to sexually assault her. After the assault when the girl took off the jacket and opened her eyes, she noticed that Tillman’s pants were unbuttoned. According to the affidavit, Tillman told the girl “they were all good”. The girl, even though scared by the incident was brave enough and smart enough to report it. The incident was reported on the very same day as it took place and the Tampa police were immediately contacted.
The investigators asked the girl to describe to them exactly what happened. The girl even managed to take them to the game room and point out towards the black jacket that was used to cover her eyes and nose. The black fleece jacket was still there on the couch in the room. When the investigators questioned the security officer regarding the allegations made by the child, he straight away denied the act and everything that she claimed to have happened to her in the room. He did confess to the police that he was in the game room alone with the girl for a while.
During the investigation, Tillman told the police that he believed that the girl was a victim of child neglect “and wanted to determine how safe she was at home,” The investigators sent the jacket to the forensics department and the reports showed that his semen was found on two sections of the jacket. He was held in custody until the reports from the forensics department arrived. The reports undermined his statement and supported the statement given by the child and Tillman was immediately arrested by the police.
Tillman was fired from the job on the same day when the girl informed the police of the incident and was arrested. According to district spokeswoman Tanya Arja, the parents were notified about the investigation by Principal Jaime Gerding from the moment that it began through the Parentlink network. They were kept in the loop of things. A message regarding the arrest was sent to the on Thursday morning. “I am disgusted and shocked by this arrest,” Gerding said in the message to parents. “We trusted him to protect our students and staff and he broke that trust.”
Malcolm Curtis Tillman, a 22-year-old security officer from Tampa who works at Booker T. Washington Elementary School, was taken into custody and charged with sexual battery after he blindfolded and sexually assaulted a six-year-old student.
Elementary school security officer blindfolded 6-year-old girl and sexually assaulted her after…
Malcolm Tillman was arrested on Wednesday after forensic reports backed the girl’s’ statement of the security officer sexually assaulting her
She further continued, “As soon as we learned of the allegation, he was removed from our school while police investigated. He has now been let go by the district. The family of the student was involved in the investigation from the beginning.” The principal sent a message notifying the parents that the police believe that there were no other victims in the school. Tillman has been charged with sexual battery of a child under the age of 12. The sentence for such a felony can go up to life in prison. He was held in Hillsborough County Jail without bail till Thursday morning.
At the time of arrest, Tillman was still in his probation period at the job. He completed training in September and started working at the Village of Excellence Academy, a Tampa charter school. He then moved to Washington Elementary School on October 31. According to the reports, Tillman even cleared the criminal background check, a psychological evaluation, and went through extensive training. According to Arja, Tillman had previous experience in armed security and was given a very positive recommendation by his previous employer. He had no disciplinary issues at the time when he was hired.
Tillman was among 120 security officers that were hired or rehired during summer. These recruits do not include law enforcement officers who have joined the effort to provide armed security at every district-run and charter school. “The district took the time to thoroughly screen applicants for our officer positions,” Arja said. “In fact, we partnered with law enforcement agencies to guarantee we would have coverage at our schools while a thorough screening process took place.”
Washington Elementary is located in District 5 and the area is represented by School Board Chairwoman Tamara Shamburger. “It’s our top priority to ensure that all students are safe, especially with the adults we trust with their care, whether those positions are state-mandated or not,” she said. “I expect every employee of the district, whether in direct contact with students or not, to exhibit the highest level of integrity. Anything less won’t be tolerated.”