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Volusia County Fla--Firefighter Charge w/Sex Abuse

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  • Volusia County Fla--Firefighter Charge w/Sex Abuse

    Arrest after accusations of molestation in fire cadet program

    By CHRISTINE GIRARDIN
    Staff Writer

    Last update: 12 September 2003


    DELAND -- A Volusia County volunteer firefighter was arrested Friday on a charge of molesting the 8-year-old son of a friend in 2001, and investigators believe the man may have victimized others during years of volunteer work with the county's Fire Services cadet program.


    DeLand resident Kenneth Moore, 40, was booked into the Volusia County Jail on the molestation charge Friday, according to Volusia County Sheriff's Office reports. He was released Friday afternoon after posting $10,000 bail.

    The boy was molested during sleepovers at Moore's home on Second Avenue home, said Investigator Kim Valle. For several months during 2001, Moore cared for the boy while his father worked, Valle added.

    The arrest report states that during those visits, Moore touched the boy's genitals and the boy was forced to reciprocate. Moore also showered with the boy and slept in the same bed with him, the report says.


    The boy's mother reported the abuse in 2001, but there wasn't enough information then to charge Moore, said sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson.

    The boy's case was reopened recently after an adult reported being molested 10 years ago by Moore, when the man was a volunteer with the Volusia County Fire Services cadet program. No charges could be filed in the adult's case because the state's statute of limitations on prosecution has expired, Valle said.

    "There are other victims that were part of that cadet program. I've spoken to them all independently and they've given me statements that they were victimized by this man," Valle said.

    Moore first volunteered with the cadet program in 1992, the same year he joined the county's volunteer firefighters, said county spokesman Dave Byron.

    Since Moore's arrest, he's been pulled from the roster of active county volunteer firefighters, Byron added.

    The cadet program was designed to teach children about careers in firefighting, and was replaced by a similar program called Fire Explorers sometime between 1995 and 1998, Byron said.

    Fire Explorers are connected with Boy Scouts of America, and program supervisors must be present when firefighters work with the Explorers. The cadet program operated without that kind of oversight, Byron said.

    Byron said Moore hasn't volunteered with children through Fire Services for a few years, but isn't sure when that involvement ended. He added the county didn't receive any complaints about Moore's behavior around children in the program.

    "No parent had come to us and expressed a concern. None of the other firefighters had raised any eyebrows," Byron said.

    No criminal background check was done on Moore when he started work as a volunteer firefighter, but those checks are now required. A Florida criminal background check on Moore did not show any previous arrests.

    Valle said other victims may come forward now that Moore has been arrested. She is also searching for links Moore may have had to area children's sports programs.

    [email protected]
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  • #2
    2nd Story

    Volunteer firefighter faces child-sex charge

    By Alicia A. Caldwell | Sentinel Staff Writer
    Posted September 13, 2003



    DELAND -- A Volusia County volunteer firefighter who once worked with teens interested in becoming firefighters was arrested Friday on a charge of molesting an 8-year-old boy, sheriff's investigators said.

    Three adults have also come forward and accused Kenneth S. Moore, 40, of molesting them while they were in the youth program in the early 1990s, the Sheriff's Office said. Those cases, investigators said, cannot be pursued because the statute of limitation has expired.

    Moore has been a volunteer firefighter since 1992, but there is no record of how long he volunteered in the Volusia County Fire Services cadet program, county spokesman Dave Byron said.

    Byron said the cadet program was disbanded in 1998 in favor of a Boy Scouts of America-sponsored Explorer Scouts program. Moore has not been involved with the Explorer Scouts, Byron said.

    Moore is accused of assaulting the 8-year-old, whose father was friends with Moore, during several sleepovers at his DeLand home in 2001. The boy was not part of the firefighting program.

    Moore, who investigators said lives alone and has no children, was arrested Friday morning at his home on a charge of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child. He was released after posting $10,000 bail.

    Moore could not be reached for comment.

    Reached at her DeLand home Friday evening, Moore's mother, Gladys Moore, said the allegations were not true.

    "I don't believe he did any of it," she said.

    Kenneth Moore was originally accused in 2001, but investigators did not have enough evidence to file charges, sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson said.

    The case was re-opened in May after a man told investigators that Moore had molested him more than a decade ago when the man was in the cadet program, which gave interested teens a glimpse of life as a firefighter. The man told investigators that he recently saw Moore at "some sort of youth sporting event" in the area and became concerned, Davidson said.

    "He was concerned that he [Moore] was mixing with juveniles and committing new offenses," Davidson said.

    Two other men told investigators that Moore also sexually assaulted them while they were part of the cadet program, Davidson said. All three men told investigators that Moore molested them on overnight camping trips.Fire officials never conducted a criminal background check on Moore, a U.S. Air Force veteran, when he was approved as a volunteer. Moore does not have a state criminal history, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement records.

    Byron said all volunteers are now subject to "extensive background checks."

    The exact status of Moore's volunteer tenure was unclear Friday but Byron said, "He's certainly not going to be a volunteer firefighter at least until this is resolved, and probably not ever."

    Volusia County fire officials were only recently notified of the allegations against Moore, Byron said.

    Keeping Fire Services in the dark about the accusations was a "judgment call," Davidson said.

    "In hindsight, knowing what we know now, we certainly would have notified Fire Services," Davidson said. At the time, investigators had to weigh the possibility that Moore was falsely accused, given the lack of evidence to file charges then, he added.

    Davidson said it was unclear Friday what other youth-oriented groups Moore may have been involved with in the past several years.

    Anyone with information is asked to call Investigator Kim Valle or Investigator John Eckersen at 386-943-7866.

    Alicia A. Caldwell can be reached at [email protected] or 386-851-7924.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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