Middle school cafeteria worker accused of paying child for sex

Posted at 5:08 PM, Oct 30, 2017

Tampa police arrested a middle school cafeteria worker for paying a child for sex. Police say they're still investigating, but the accusation is not connected to his employment.

31-year-old Edward Ruffin III is a Student Nutrition Assistant at Adams Middle School.

According to arrest documents, the sexual encounters started when the girl was 11-years-old.

"She came forward to some family members and told them that this had been going on for I think 3 years now," Steve Hegarty, TPD spokesperson, said. "We don't have any reason to believe that it has anything to do with his place of employment. That's one of the first things we look into."

Arrest documents say Ruffin would offer the child money and items for sexual activity. He admitted to having sex with the child 4-5 times, but said the sex was consensual.

"I've known him to do that for older women. But I've never known him to do that for no child," Lawana Wiley, Ruffin's ex-mother-in-law and current roommate, said.

Wiley says she wonders if Ruffin know how old the girl was.

"It's a shame he went that low, it really is," she said.

Police say the victim was an acquaintance of Ruffin's.

While Ruffin was not in a classroom, according to his job description, he did have daily contact with children, who would be the same age as the victim. His job description included acknowledging students by name and thanking them for their business.

A spokesperson for the Hillsborough County School District says they're moving toward termination.