PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — Punta Gorda Police say it all started inside the walls of Charlotte High School, Brendan Williams Toop, and a student under the age of 18 engaged in a sexual act on school grounds back in 2017.
They say the relationship began when Toop and the female student started communicating via a school app, used for students to communicate with their teachers about school-related matters. Investigators say they discovered over 400 messages through text and apps like Snapchat.
A warrant was issued for his arrest. We're told Toop turned himself in. Toop was charged with Sexual Battery by Custodian after having sexual relations with a 17-year-old female student inside the closet of a classroom.
The affidavit also revealed he engaged in a sexual encounter with another student on campus, but that victim refused to press charges.
We reached out to the district for comment and Michael Riley with Charlotte County Schools told us,
“ I can confirm that he was employed by our school district. It is in the hands of law enforcement and we always stand down when that happens. Once it goes into the court system we cannot comment on the case until it is completed”, said Michael Riley, Community Liaison.
I also spoke with one mom who told me she is disgusted by cases like this.
“How despicable it is as an adult, almost preying on a child. Even though she might have been a little bit older, it doesn’t matter you have a responsibility as an adult and as a professional” said Julie Krysinski.
Another mom agreed saying, children are impressionable, and this case angers her.
“They still have that mindset, they’re still growing into their mind they’re still figuring out the world and everything else, and for anyone of any certain age to take advantage of that is a prison term,” said Fran Bierwagen.
Right now we are learning from investigators there is possibly a third victim. At this time Toop has been released on a $150,000 bond.