Former teacher at special needs school accused of rape

Posted at 6:50 PM, Aug 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-18 06:33:42-04

Tampa Police are looking into a former special needs teacher's background after he was arrested for raping a disabled man.

According to police, 53-year-old James Beaver Jr., talked the 23-year-old victim into getting into his car, then took him to his apartment early Tuesday morning.

Police were initially called to the area by the victim's mother who was reporting her son missing. Police say he has the mental capacity of a young elementary student.

"Based on his ability to make decisions, he complied with what an adult was telling him to do," Sgt. Lisa Parashis of the Tampa Police Department said.

Hours after he was reported missing, he was found walking outside of the Clipper Bay Apartments on South Lois Avenue. The victim was not wearing his own clothes. However, he denied anything bad happened.

Later that night, the victim walked to a gas station and had the clerk call police for him. He then told officers a crime had occurred.

"The victim felt bad. He didn't know if what he did was wrong," Sgt. Parashis said.

Inside of Beaver's apartment, police say Beaver directed the young man to do several things.

"He told him to take a shower, brush his teeth, at some point in the evening he gave him some soup, he gave him something to drink," Sgt. Parashis explained.

Beaver also smoked what is believed to be meth with the victim, walking him through the process. He also showed the victim pornography. Then forced himself on the disabled man.

Police say they found meth, the victim's clothes and other disturbing items when they searched Beaver's apartment.

"He had, what we believe, are homemade sex toys that could be used in a fashion that were more violent," Sgt. Parashis said.

His history has raised more concern.

"What raises alarms for me is that he was a teacher in the school system here in Hillsborough County," Sgt. Parashis explained.

We discovered Beaver was an employee with the district from 2003 to as late as 2015. He worked in several schools, mainly focusing on children with special needs. His longest tenure was at the Mendez Excellence Center where he worked for nearly a decade.

Police are actively looking into his history to see if they can track down any other potential victims who he may or may not have worked with.