Man with ties to Fort Myers Catholic church arrested for molestation

CREATED Feb. 5, 2014 - UPDATED: Feb. 5, 2014

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FORT MYERS, Fla. - A former volunteer at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church is facing child molestation charges.

74-year-old Robert Little was arrested last week after a young boy told his mom Little inappropriately touched him multiple times at Little's condo on Fort Myers Beach over the summer.

"This individual was arrested on what we consider to be a serious felony a week ago and no one is talking about it," attorney Scot Goldberg said.

Goldberg represents one of Little's victims and his family and says he is concerned not enough of the community knows what happened. He says this could prevent other victims from coming forward.

"If [parents] don't know that there's someone out there that's allegedly a predator that likes prepubescent boys, how are they going to be able to ask their kids if they're okay," Goldberg said.
 
According to the police report, Little confessed to molesting the young boy and told detectives he wasn't the first victim. He went on to say he joined a Catholic men's group in order to have his vows 
"keep him under control" and that his temptation to engage in sexual acts with children could "rear its head at any time."
 
Goldberg says he wonders if there are other victims who haven't come forward.
 
"Normally what you see is this is the tip of the iceberg," Goldberg said.
 
Fox 4 reached out to the Catholic Diocese of Venice to find out what Little's involvement with the church was. The Diocese says Little volunteered as a Eucharistic Minister and helped take care of the church until he resigned in the summer of 2013. A spokesperson says Little "did not interact with children more than any other volunteer or parishioner" and that like all volunteers "he passed a federal and state background check and fingerprinting in 2010."
 
The Diocese says Little worked as a maintenance manager at Villa Francisco, which is separately incorporated and run independently from the church, until 2010. He also lives there.
 
Even though Little doesn't have a prior record, Goldberg's not convinced this is his first offense.
 
"Just looking at the confession from the police report, it's clear this is not the first time that he's had these thoughts," Goldberg said.
 
The church sent a letter about Little's arrest to all parents at St. Francis Xavier Catholic School and read the same letter aloud at all masses last weekend.
 
Little is out of jail on a $10,000 bond.