DCPS custodian arrested, charged with sexual battery on child & kidnapping

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A long-time school custodian with Duval County Public Schools faces multiple charges including sexual battery on a child and kidnapping.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday announced the arrest of Wayne Williams, 62, a 30-year employee at DCPS. Williams was a janitor at 10 different schools from elementary to high school.

Lt. Jacob Vorpahl with the JSO special assault unit said on Tuesday, “While the initial allegations against the suspect did not include any students -- as the investigation progressed, the detective learned there were highly questionable and likely criminal interactions between the suspect and students at some of these schools.”

“From information we have been able to obtain thus far by interviewing multiple people, there are indications that the suspect has been engaged in this type of activity going back as far as the early 90s,” Vorpahl said.

Vorpahl said that police also believe there are more victims that have not come forward. Williams was arrested Tuesday, November 8, and was charged with three counts of capital sexual battery against a victim less than age 12, two counts of sexual battery against a victim less than 16-years-old and one count of kidnapping.

DCPS released this statement: “Duval County Public Schools is saddened to hear of the news shared by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office earlier today. We are cooperating fully with this investigation. We encourage anyone with information regarding the investigation to contact JSO directly.”

The school district also released this information about the case:

“Mr. Wayne W. Williams began employment as a school custodian with Duval County Public Schools on Feb. 25, 1993. Mr. Williams was pulled from his role at Ramona Boulevard Elementary School in September when the district learned of allegations of inappropriate physical contact with a child (not a student). He remains administratively reassigned with no student contact pending the conclusion of internal and external investigations.”

News4JAX spoke with parents of students at Ramona Boulevard Elementary School, where Williams most recently worked. One woman, who said her name was Tonya, said her daughter is a kindergartener at the school.

“Being that’s what he’s accused of doing, I’m not going to say he did it because I don’t know, but it’s frightening, so now I’m thinking of her safety,” Tonya said.

Here are his previous work assignments, according to DCPS:

  • Feb. 1993 – Raines High S
  • Oct. 1995 – Kirby Smith Middle (now Springfield Middle School)
  • May 2001 – Brentwood Elementary
  • May 2003 – School Custodial Services
  • July 2003 – Matthew Gilbert Middle
  • Oct. 2004 – Louis Sheffield Elementary
  • Aug. 2005 – Workers Compensation
  • Sept. 2005 – Louis Sheffield Elementary
  • June 2009 – San Mateo Elementary
  • Feb. 2012 – Biscayne Elementary
  • April 2014 – First Coast High
  • April 2015 – Highlands Elementary
  • July 2016 – Ramona Boulevard Elementary

In addition, DCPS said, internal investigations on Williams have been conducted three times prior to this matter.

  • 2015: Investigated for inappropriate comments of a sexual nature about students in a conversation with an employee. Determined to be unsubstantiated.'
  • 2018: Investigated for non-sexual inappropriate comments with students. Given verbal warning.
  • 2021: Investigated for allegation of asking a student for nude photos. Referred to Department of Children and Families and Jacksonville Sherriff’s Office. District investigation concluded the allegations were unsubstantiated.

If you have any information that can help in the investigation, JSO is asking you to call 904-630-0500 or email jsocrimetips@jaxsheriff.org.

About the Author:

Renee Beninate is a Florida native and award-winning reporter who joined the News4Jax team in June 2021.