Bradenton police found reams of evidence in Frazier investigation, including porn, documents show

jdeleon@bradenton.comAugust 17, 2013 

BRADENTON -- Bradenton police detectives say four school officials tried to hinder their investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior by former Manatee high assistant football coach and parent liaison Roderick Frazier.

Frazier has pleaded not guilty to seven misdemeanors of battery and three misdemeanor charges of interfering with a student's attendance.

Former Manatee High principal Robert Gagnon, former Manatee High assistant principals Matthew Kane and Gregg Faller and former Manatee High school district investigator Debra Horne were charged this week with failing to report child abuse, a felony.

Throughout the course of the police investigation, Gagnon, Faller and Kane maintained they did not recall anyone at the school coming to them with concerns about Frazier's behavior, even though a number of teachers told police they had reported their observations to the administrators.

In the wake of the charges, Bradenton police released reports Friday detailing their investigation.

Some of the key findings include:

• A forensic search of Frazier's school-issued computers uncovered thousands of pornographic images and sites visited by Frazier. The files include many nude photos of young women, without visible faces, yet police were able to identify some of them as former Manatee High students.

• Horne told police she was instructed by Gagnon through Assistant Superintendent Scott Martin that she should conduct a speedy investigation in Novemeber 2012 when she first investigated the allegations. She stated that Martin told her, "That they were going to pull him (Mr. Frazier) but there is a football game on Friday night and because of the high profile of Manatee High his presence would be missed if he is not there."

• The one-day investigation by Horne into the allegations against Frazier in November was a result of a letter she received from a counselor at Manatee High containing nine allegations of misconduct. Her investigation consisted of interviews with five staff members, but none of the students involved. Horne told investigators that neither police nor the State of Florida Child Abuse Hotline were called because she and Martin agreed it was unnecessary because nothing could be proved.

• Multiple teachers told police they witnessed or heard mention of a confrontation between Gagnon and Frazier at a staff party at Central Cafe. Many say the verbal dispute was in reference to the allegations.

• Detectives received several reports that staff members were being intimidated by assistant principals during the course of the investigation. One teacher said Faller went as far as confronting her during the police interviews at the school and telling her it was best if she didn't recall some of their conversations.

• Current Manatee High Principal Donald Sauer said he had not heard of the allegations against Frazier until November when he was approached by the school counselor with several staff members concerns. Sauer asked for the allegations in writing and after receiving the letter consulted with Kane. Sauer said he was informed by Kane that allegations in the letter were old and had already been investigated. But Kane told detectives he had never heard anything about the allegations against Frazier.

On Thursday, Kane and Horne both turned themselves in to be booked into the Manatee County Jail.

Horne was arrested on one felony count of failure to report child abuse and was released on a $1,500 bond.

Kane was arrested on a felony count of failure to report child abuse, a misdemeanor count of failure to report and a misdemeanor count of giving false reports to law enforcement. Kane was released shortly after being booked on bonds totaling $2,500.

On Friday afternoon, Faller and Gagnon turned themselves into the Manatee County Jail to each face a felony count of failing to report child abuse, a misdemeanor count of failing to report and a misdemeanor count of giving false reports to law enforcement. Both were released shortly after on bonds totaling $2,500.

According to the police investigation's findings, the allegations against Frazier go back as far as 2006.

After Bradenton police learned of the allegations and began their investigation early this year, they soon discovered the school district had failed to conduct a thorough investigation.

The case was then handed over to the State Attorney's Office with their recommendations of charges.

Other facts uncovered by the police investigation include:

• Manatee High School Athletic Director Joe Kinnan told detectives no one ever brought any of the allegations to his attention and that when the investigation was being conducted, he stayed away from it. Kinnan said he had been prepared to move on without Frazier as an assistant football coach in November.

• Both Manatee High resource officers told detectives they never witnessed any inappropriate behavior by Frazier. They also stated they were never approached by anyone with concerns regarding the situation.

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