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Fired teacher charged with trespassing

The man also is accused of stealing a CD containing students' academic data.

By REBECCA CATALANELLO
Published August 9, 2006


PLANT CITY - A former Hillsborough County teacher was arrested Monday on charges he trespassed on school grounds and stole a disc containing student academic information.

Charles Henri Lucas II, 36, a former Jennings Middle School physical education teacher, had been banned from school grounds since two female students accused him of inappropriately touching them, Hillsborough sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said.

Lucas contacted a teacher at the school July 31 to obtain a CD containing academic information about the 13- and 14-year-old students, deputies said. The teacher declined to assist Lucas.

Two days later, two custodians spotted him entering the campus gym, Carter said. School officials soon noticed the disc was gone.

Detectives investigating the incident found a videotape narrated by Lucas. On the tape, he enters the school and takes a disc. Also found in his possession were a set of master keys, a Palm Pilot and a Sony digital camera, all school district property.

Lucas is not charged with any crime related to the two students. But Carter said deputies have investigated their complaints and turned the matter over to the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office.

In March 2005, Lucas was suspended without pay pending the outcome of sheriff's charges that he tried to cash two counterfeit money orders totaling $950, Carter said.

When the charges were downgraded to misdemeanors, he was reinstated, Hillsborough County schools spokeswoman Linda Cobbe said.

A year later, he was suspended again, pending an investigation into the battery allegations by the two students.

He was terminated May 26, Cobbe said, for allowing his teaching license to expire.

Lucas, who lives at 1730 Brookstone Way in Plant City, was being held Tuesday night at Orient Road Jail on $6,250 bail. Attempts by the Times to reach his attorney were not successful.