TAMPA, Fla. -- 'He allegedly went into the boy's room when he was asleep and inappropriately touched him," a Hillsborough County Sheriff's spokesperson said of 63-year-old James Larkin who they say admitted to the lewd molestation charge.
On Friday morning, Tampa police arrested Larkin for allegedly touching a 14-year-old male student he had befriended. Larkin was the middle school principal at Tampa Day School off Henderson Road in Carrollwood.
"It's a tragedy all the way around. [The student] was befriended by a guy who took him to Dad's Clubs and earned this boys trust -- then violated his trust," said the sheriff's spokesperson.
Larkin was headmaster for 31 years at St. Johns Greek Orthodox Day School in Tampa, and the principal at Tampa Day School for five years. He founded the Dad's Club at Tampa Day School, a group of fathers or sudo-fathers who get together for events and for support. An idea he carried over from the other school.
"My client has been an educator for 40 years, with a clear record. He is innocent of these charges," said Larkin's attorney Ed Suarez.
"I am sick -- just sick," said Head of School Lois Delaney who added that Larkin has been terminated. She hopes someone will step-up and take leadership for the group, for the boys.
"We absolutely just have to stay on track. We love our families, we thank them for the support, but we are all just devastated. But we are strong."
Authorities say because of the history of individuals similar to Larkin -- having been around students for a long long time -- they are not going to discount there could be others.
School officials say they've been in touch with parents, and a psychologist and other resources will be available for students.
You can hear more of what Delaney had to say in the video below.