Tampa Catholic High School custodian arrested for sexual battery on teenager

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TAMPA (WFLA) – The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a custodian who detectives believe committed sexual battery on a teenager.

Detectives say Herbert Jones, 31, sexually battered a teen on June 22 and later admitted to the crime saying the victim tried to refuse his advances.

The sheriff’s office says the crime did not happen at Tampa Catholic but at a private residence and not the suspect’s home.

Jones was arrested on June 28th.

“Our detectives know that he was very active at the New Mt. Zion Baptist Church and they want to make sure the congregation there is aware of his arrests and also has those conversations with their family and children tonight to make sure there are no additional victims here,” HCSO spokesperson Amanda Granit said.

8 On Your Side reached out to New Mt. Zion. We were told Jones has not been a part of its congregation for at least a year.

Jones is now charged with three counts of Sexual Battery and one count of Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor.

The Diocese of St. Petersburg has placed Jones on administrative leave pending further information and says they have immediately notified school families of his arrest.

Jones passed an FBI background check before he began working at the school in October 2018, according to Diocese spokesperson Teresa Peterson.

The Diocese maintains the allegations do not involve anyone from Tampa Catholic.

However, due to the fact Jones works as a custodian at Tampa Catholic, detectives are investigating to see if there could be any additional victims. If anyone has any information on this active investigation please contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at 813-247-8200.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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