The principal of a Tampa Florida private school for students who have mild to moderate learning disabilities was arrested Thursday for Lewd or Lascivious Molestation on a Child 12 or Older.
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office, 63-year-old James Larkin, Principal of the Tampa Day School, befriended the the 14-year-old boy and his mother after the victim’s father passed away earlier this year.
Over the course of time, Larkin became a surrogate dad and routinely took the victim to “Dad Club” meetings and other recreational activities. On March 7, 2014, Larkin babysat the victim while the victim’s mom was out of town for the weekend.
At approximately 10:15 pm that evening, Larkin entered the victim’s room and lay down beside him. Larkin then put his hands down the front of the victim’s pants and began inappropriately touching him. The victim complained and Larkin stopped and left the room.
During the investigation, a recorded call was made between Larkin and the victim. During that call, Larkin admitted to the allegations and that his actions were inappropriate. Larkin’s was arrested late Thursday afternoon at his residence and booked into the Orient Road Jail.
At this time, detectives are not aware of any other victim(s) or that James Larkin committed any inappropriate activity while at the school. Detectives have had full cooperation of the school’s administration.
Larkin faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. He was released from jail Thursday on $7,500 bail.
Larkin was later fired from the school.