(BEDFORD) – A Bloomington man was arrested on felony charges of child molesting on Thursday, November 14th.
Larry Leonard Jr., 49, is facing two charges of child molesting, sexual misconduct of a minor, and child seduction.
Leonard served as a Joint Services deaf/hard of hearing consultant for North Lawrence Community Schools. He taught sign language. He was placed on administrative leave on Oct. 31, 2019.
The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department began their investigation after receiving a report on October 25th from the Bedford Police Department about a possible child molesting case.
A 17-year-old male reported during an interview at Susie’s Place Child Advocacy Center in Bloomington that his uncle had touched him inappropriately and sexually assaulted him for years.
His mother discovered this information when she walked into her son’s room and he was crying while speaking to close friends on FaceTime. The friends were disclosing their deepest secrets.
He then disclosed the information to his mother. He didn’t tell his mother after the incidents happened because it was a family member that had touched him.
The mother told the police this is not the first time Leonard has been accused of something like this.
On Monday, October 21, the teen and his mother went to Bedford North Lawrence High School to report to the incidents to school officials. Leonard was placed on administrative leave on October 31, 2019.
Leonard was placed on administrative leave from October 31st until November 13th, according to North Lawrence Community Schools.
North Lawrence Community Schools released the following statement to WBIW on Thursday night during the school board meeting in regards to Leonard’s arrest. They would not answer any further questions about him being on administrative leave or his arrest.
North Lawrence Community Schools (“School”) received a report that a male teacher at Bedford North Lawrence High School (“BNL”) had engaged in inappropriate physical contact with a male BNL student. The School immediately reported the student’s allegations to the Lawrence County Department of Child Services, began an investigation into the allegations and placed the teacher on paid administrative leave beginning October 31, 2019. On October 31, 2019, the School learned that the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department was in the preliminary stages of investigating this incident but had not yet been able to substantiate the alleged misconduct. Based upon all information available to the School, the School allowed the teacher to return to the classroom on November 13, 2019.
On Thursday, November 14, 2019, the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department arrested the teacher, and the School immediately placed the teacher on paid administrative leave. The health and well-being of students are paramount to the North Lawrence Community Schools. North Lawrence Community Schools is cooperating with law enforcement in the investigation of this matter and will continue to take all appropriate measures to protect students as this matter progresses.