How did an accused child rapist end up working at St. Pete private school?

Investigations

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Both law enforcement and school officials say no new victims have come forward since the arrest of an Admiral Farragut Academy staffer on charges of sexual assault against a minor.

As first reported earlier this week, 57-year-old Marc Spera, St. Petersburg, is facing 50 counts stemming from alleged incidents while he worked at private school in Pennsylvania. Investigators believe the abuse carried on from 2008 to 2010.

Spera’s LinkedIn profile shows he worked at the The School at Church Farm from 1995 to 2010.

Spera worked as a resident life assistant at Admiral Farragut and had been there roughly four years, investigators say. His job duties included supervising the dorms on nights and weekends.

Assisting Pennsylvania authorities, the FDLE notified the school in late May and says Admiral Farragut helped facilitate Spera’s arrest on May 23.

Lauren Greer’s son attended Admiral Farragut from 2018-2019. She later withdrew him after feeling the living situation for boarding students lacked much-needed oversight.

While her son claims Spera never made him uncomfortable, he and other kids felt he was strange. Combine that with Spera’s supervisory role in the living quarters, and she fears that could have been a recipe for disaster.

“Oh my gosh, this guy was there overnight!” she said. “He had access to all the kids’ rooms.”

Spera was also a longtime Boy Scout volunteer, which earlier this week Boy Scouts of America called “deeply troubling” given the circumstances.

Spera’s LinkedIn profile shows that before coming to Admiral Farragut in 2016, he worked three brief stints at other boarding schools in Puerto Rico, New Hampshire, and California. He started at the Robinson School in San Juan one month after leaving the Pennsylvania school where he is accused of raping a child.

At all those schools, Spera’s primary responsibilities revolved around supervising childrens’ dorms, per the job descriptions.

Admiral Farragut maintains Spera passed several background checks in multiple states over the past decade.

Background check protocol includes reviewing previous employment and reason for departure, personal and professional references, and criminal history.

In recent emails provided to 8 On Your Side by Greer, Admiral Farragut’s headmaster described the allegations against Spera as isolated to one victim 13-years-ago.

Greer fears how accurate that may actually be.

“People, that truly believe they can foster intimate, romantic relationships with children? That doesn’t go away,” she said.

8 On Your Side reached out to Spera’s previous employers to inquire if authorities had notified them of the charges or why Spera left the school.

Those inquiries have not yet been returned.

FDLE says due to Spera’s continued association with minors, additional victims may exist. If you have any information about the suspect, you’re urged to contact the FDLE at 1-800-226-1140.

Spera remains in the Pinellas County Jail awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania. Admiral Farragut is working closely with FDLE to determine if there are any more victims at the St. Petersburg school.

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