ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Sunday school teacher John Ware, known to his students as “Mr. John,” has been arrested and charged with sexual battery on a child under 12 years old.
According to deputies, the young victim was helping Ware, 53, of Orange County, set up for a fall festival on Saturday at the First Baptist Church of Pine Castle, when she allegedly asked to sit in his car, because her legs were tired and she wanted to rest.
An arrest report states that Ware then drove to the back parking area and began tickling the victim on her legs, then asked her where her "tickle spot" was. Deputies say when the victim told him it was her feet, he stopped the car and then sexually battered her.
“He was in a position of power, he was a trusted adult, obviously the victim trusted him to feel safe and he violated that trust so we want to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else so anyone with any further information please contact the sheriff's office," said Jane Watrel with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
Ware told deputies that the assault happened by mistake.
Officials with the First Baptist Church of Pine Castle have not yet commented on the arrest. Orange County Sheriff deputies urge anyone who may have had any inappropriate contact with Ware to come forward because there is the potential for more victims given his position as a Sunday school teacher.