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After School Programs responds to child's sexual assault

Posted at 7:39 PM, Nov 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-20 19:48:51-05

NAPLES, Fla. -- After Austin Hunter, an employee at After School Programs, was arrested Friday for sexual battery on a 6-year-old girl, many concerned parents asked Fox 4 how someone like him could get through the hiring process.

The Principal of Mason Classical Academy, where the incident took place, released this statement to Fox 4.

"The entire situation has absolutely nothing to do with Mason Classical Academy.  The employee in question worked for ASP and had no affiliation whatsoever with the school.  The safety and well being of our students has and always will be our top priority.  To that end, we are proud of the swift and professional response of our local law enforcement throughout this situation.  The MCA community looks forward to justice being served."

Our reporter investigated ASP's hiring process. According to their main website, a new hire has to go through an extensive step-by-step system. It includes:

  • Must pass FBI Level II screening
  • Must pass a background check
  • Must be fingerprinted
  • CPR training and certification
  • 1st Aid training and certification
  • Must complete 40 hours of specialized child care training
  • 10 Hours of In-Service annually
  • Physical exam every 2 years
  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Must be a high school graduate

Fox 4 questioned how Austin Hunter seemed to pass the hiring process. An ASP spokesperson said, "A search conducted by DCF of the Florida Automated Child Welfare Information System showed no record of the employee being responsible for abuse of a child...There was no indication during the employee's employment by ASP of any inappropriate conduct."

ASP has yet to respond if changes will be made to the hiring process or how they plan to avoid these situations in the future.