NAPLES, Fla.-- Austin Hunter, 18, was arrested Friday evening for sexual battery to a 6-year-old girl in the bathroom at Mason Classical Academy. The arrest took place down the road from the school at Laguna Bay Apartment Complex, leaving many of his neighbors concerned for their safety.
“Now I feel like no one is safe. Not a girl or a boy," said one neighbor that wished to remain anonymous.
According to the police report, Hunter brought the girl into the bathroom stall for "purposes of committing a lewd and lascivious act by toughing her genital area." It went on to say that Hunter later exposed "his genitals" in her presence.
Neighbors worried that the long-term impact will be huge for the young girl.
"Traumatizing to say the least… I think it will have a very lasting effect in their entire life,” said Gaurav Johari, father of a 5-year-old.
Johari regularly brings his son to play in the Apartment's pool with family and says education kids is the best way to avoid these situations.
“I think you should educate your kids, that you should be careful not to [have them] around strangers or if [kids are] not comfortable just speak up.”
Principal of Mason Classical Academy, David Hull, 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."
Hull added that ASP simply uses the school as a facility to conduct its program, and neither the school nor its employees have anything to do with the program. Parents at MCA do contract with ASP for the after-school program.
Johari says the community needs to stand together, because this can happen to anyone.
"It could be a kid, your friends, yourself, your sister, brother.. I think as a parent we should be highly cognizant of it and make sure that we keep ourselves safe and our kids safer.”