A former contract employee of the Palmetto Youth Academy has been sentenced to more than nine years in prison after he was convicted of sexually assaulting two teens housed at the facility.
Leroy Bostic Jr., 36, pleaded to two counts of sexual battery, lewd and lascivious molestation and two counts of introduction of harmful material to a minor on Friday morning. Bostic was sentenced to 110 months in prison, followed by sexual offender probation.
“I think this was an appropriate sentence for the protection of the community and he was designated a sexual predator, which is appropriate for the same reasons,” Assistant State Attorney Cynthia Evers said.
The Palmetto Youth Academy is a high-risk, youthful offender program that provides substance abuse treatment services for youth with a primary diagnosis of substance abuse and/or co-occurring mental health disorder. It operates under the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice and is located at the Manatee Correctional Complex.
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Bostic’s victims were 15 and 17 years old at the time they were sexually assaulted.
The allegations were first disclosed by the 15-year-old to a therapist at the academy. The teen asked his therapist what the definition of sexual abuse was and then detailed how Bostic would come into his cell or the showers and touch him. Bostic also would show him pornography on his cell phone.
The 17-year-old victim witnessed the assault at least once, the initial victim told the therapist and detectives. When the second teen was interviewed, he admitted that he, too, was being sexually abused by Bostic.
In addition to coming into the showers, which is prohibited, Bostic also would go into the teen’s cell, where he would assault or batter them.
When detectives first spoke to Bostic, he denied inappropriately touching the boys, but said he would apologize, Detective James Wischer wrote in the arrest report.
Bostic has been in custody since his Aug. 12, 2014, arrest.
At the end of Friday’s hearing, an attorney identifying himself as representing the victims’ families asked Circuit Judge Hunter Carroll if he could speak with Bostic with his defense attorney present.
“We got nothing to talk about,” Bostic said.