PALATKA, Fla. -- A Putnam County Schools employee is behind bars after being arrested for sexual battery of a minor.
According to the Putnam County School District Superintendent Phyllis Criswall, 21-year-old Freddie Lee Taylor Jr. serves at James A. Taylor Elementary in Palatka as a part-time food service worker. Criswall said he also volunteers at Beasley Middle School for its after-school program.
Sgt. Hancel Woods with the Putnam County Sheriff's Office said Taylor is also listed as a volunteer assistant basketball coach.
Taylor's Facebook page shows he graduated from Palatka High School just three years ago, in 2010.
The district said Taylor has been placed on leave with pay while the Sheriff's Office completes its investigation. Criswall said she's been with Putnam County Schools for nearly three decades and a situation like this is never easy to handle.
"Any time that you hire people and you do a background check, and you're so happy that you don't find anything there, and you can hire them to do a job, and you hope they'll do it to the best of their ability, but you have high hopes for all your employees but our number one concern has to be the children."
To protect the identity of the victim, Woods couldn't give any details about the alleged crime nor did he say how Taylor was arrested.
There is speculation that the victim might have been a student, but neither the district nor the sheriff's office would confirm that information.
Taylor is being held in the Putnam County Jail on $25,000 bond.
First Coast News