Hernando County school employee arrested for multiple counts of sexual battery on a minor

Posted at 10:12 AM, May 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-24 16:20:54-04

A Hernando County school employee was arrested on Tuesday for sexual battery on a minor.

34-year-old Marcus Gerard Wells was not a teacher at Fox Chapel Middle School in Spring Hill, but he worked closely with dozens of students as an in-school suspension monitor. And on the last week of school authorities said they found out he was having sex with a female student in a classroom.

“It made me quite upset and worried about my kids in school,” said parent of two Frank Trott.

“It seems to be going on a lot in the schools these days,” said parent Dan McGhee.

Investigators wouldn’t answer when asked how Wells and the student were able to be alone together in a classroom.

“Part of our issue here is protecting the victim. And we want to make sure that we don’t talk a whole lot about particulars so that we don’t further traumatize the victim in this case because obviously this is a very serious allegation,” said Hernando Sheriff’s Al Nienhuis.

According to officials, they learned of the incident when another student went to the school resource officer to tell him what she knew. Investigators said they also found messages about the encounters on the victim’s phone.

“It was a courageous young person coming forward and we appreciate that person coming forward and doing the right thing,” said Nienhuis.

The Sheriff’s office said they are looking to see if there are any other victims. 

“We wouldn’t be surprised if there are other victims, but right now there isn’t any indication of other victims,” Nienhuis said.

Wells also worked as a coach and with youth programs at church, according to officials.

They said he admitted to the charges and is now being charged with 4-counts of sexual battery on a victim under the age of 18.

“Me and my wife were just talking about it. It’s just a shame you can’t send them to school anymore and be safe,” said McGhee.

When Wells gets out of jail, he’ll have to wear a GPS monitor and stay away from children without supervision.

According to Hernando County School District Superintendent, Lori Romano, Wells is no longer employed with the district. She said he has served the district for eight years and passed a background check prior to beginning work with the district.

"We will not tolerate behavior that puts our students at risk," said Romano.

Wells’ bond was set at $80,000.