Ex-Bayshore High employee who impregnated, married student faces no charges

Ex-Bayshore High employee who got student pregnant will not face charges

eearl@bradenton.comDecember 17, 2013 

MANATEE -- Former Bayshore High School cafeteria manager Laverna Williams will not be charged with an unlawful sexual relationship with a minor after the State Attorney's Office could not find substantial evidence a student he got pregnant was under 18 at any point in their relationship.

The student became pregnant by Williams when she was 18.

Williams resigned from his position at the high school in September amid an investigation of allegations he had a years-long sexual relationship with the student. That same month, he married the former student, now 20.

The State Attorney's report reads: "Without the cooperation of the victim, there is insufficient evidence to prove this case

beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, no charges will be filed."

There are no other witnesses or physical evidence to prove Williams engaged in sexual activity with the student when she was 16 or 17, according to the report.

A Manatee County Sheriff's Office report indicates the relationship between Williams and the student began in the fall of 2010 when the student was 16 and Williams was 41.

The sheriff's office forwarded a recommendation to the State Attorney's Office with charges of sexual battery of a victim 17 years of age at an "unknown motel/hotel" at Interstate 75 and State Road 64 East.

The Manatee County investigation was then turned over to the State Attorney's Office.

"Allegations are that this began when she was 16 or 17, but she has no interest in participating," Assistant State Attorney Dawn Buff said. "We have no admissible evidence, and she was 18 years old when she got pregnant."

Buff said the mother of the former student was also uncooperative.

"The mother was irate when she came in," Buff said.

Buff said when the former student moved in with Williams after they married, she did not provide law enforcement with their new address.

According to the State Attorney's report, the mother said her daughter is now "happily married" and Williams is supporting his child "as he should."

Former school board attorney John Bowen said the student was unwilling to talk when Debra Horne, former investigator for the school district, looked into the matter.

"She denied everything," Bowen said. "This was a dead issue back then, and it still is."

Bowen said Troy Pumphrey, the investigator in the office of professional standards at the school district, tried to re-open the district investigation but also experienced a lack of cooperation.

The Manatee County School District declined comment, and Williams could not be reached.

Erica Earl, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081.

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