MANATEE -- A former contract employee of the Palmetto Youth Academy has been charged with sexually assaulting two teenagers at the state-run facility, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
Leroy Bostic Jr., 34, of Palmetto was arrested by detectives Tuesday near his residence. He is charged with sexual battery, lewd and lascivious molestation and introduction of harmful material to a minor, according to a report.
According to a news release issued by the sheriff's office Tuesday, an investigation began on Aug. 6 after the sheriff's office was notified of possible sexual misconduct by Bostic during his time as a contract employee at the state-run facility.
Manatee County Sheriff's Office spokesman Dave Bristow said the office was notified by personnel at the academy, which is located at the Manatee Correctional Complex and is a youthful offender program under the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.
"We've been doing a lot of work on it in the past week and we were able to make probable cause to make the arrest today," Bristow said Tuesday,
According to a report, detectives identified two boys, ages 15 and 17, who said they had been sexually assaulted by Bostic. The victims told detectives on the case that they were assaulted at the facility during July and early August of this year.
"It's an open investigation but so far that's what we have -- is two victims," Bristow said.
The spokesman added that the teens are not from Manatee County.
Bristow was unable to say how long Bostic had worked at the Palmetto Youth Academy, but said it may have been about a month.
Bostic is being held without bond at the Manatee County jail.
No one from the Palmetto Youth Academy was available for comment Tuesday.
According to the website of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, the Palmetto Youth Academy is described as "a high-risk program that provides substance abuse treatment services for 48 youth who have a primary diagnosis of substance abuse and/or co-occurring mental health disorder."
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on this case is encouraged to call the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at 941-747-3011.
Amaris Castillo, Law Enforcement/Island Reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7051. You can follow her on Twitter@AmarisCastillo.