BRADENTON — A local elementary school custodian bonded out Saturday for the second time this week after he was criminally charged with fondling two girls — including a student at his school.
Woodie Sinquefield Jr., the head custodian at Sea Breeze Elementary, had a $5,000 bond set by Circuit Court Judge Scott Brownell on Saturday morning at first appearances.
As a part of his release conditions, Sinquefield can have no contact with minors and should avoid public recreational facilities. He can have no unsupervised contact with minor family members.
Sinquefield was arrested Friday on a charge of lewd and lascivious molestation after an 8-year-old girls’ parents went to the school and reported to a school resource officer that the girl was touched on numerous times when she was in the lunch room, according to police reports.
If convicted, Sinquefield could face life imprisonment, according to state law.
Mark Lipinski, a criminal defense attorney who is representing Sinquefield, continues to maintain his client’s innocence. Lipinski also noted that Sinquefield has no criminal history and is not a flight risk.
“My client and I are pleased that Judge Brownell gave him a $5,000 bond. Obviously, he took into consideration the weakness of the state’s allegations,” Lipinski said.
Parents told police the girl was touched on more than one occasion when Sinquefield would come up behind her and place one arm on her shoulder, letting his arm hang down in front of her and touch her chest over her clothes, according to a Bradenton Police Department warrant.
Sinquefield, who is on paid administrative leave from Manatee County School District, faces two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation, including a December incident in Sarasota when he allegedly groped an 11-year-old girl, who is a distant family member, during a family trip to G. WIZ science museum in December.
Bradenton Police are also investigating a third case in which a 12-year-old girl, who is also a distant relative of Sinquefield, told authorities she was inappropriately touched when she was staying at his residence Jan. 22, according to authorities. In that case, a charge has been forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office for review.
Detectives also spoke with a teacher at the school who stated when he went to the cafeteria to pick up his class he would sometimes notice Sinquefield with a girl sitting on his lap playing a “tickling game,” poking the girl in the rib area, according to the warrant.
The girl in the latest case and other potential victims have not been interviewed by investigators, according to officials.
Sinquefield, who has worked in the school district for 17 years and at Sea Breeze for three years, was placed on paid administrative leave from the Manatee County School District on April 7 when district officials were made aware of the investigation.
“We had no reason to believe there could be a problem until we were notified,” said Sea Breeze Principal Jackie West. “This is very hard for our students. We’re very concerned.”
The school district sent out two automated phone messages to parents at the school each day Sinquefield was arrested, according to officials.
Police continue to investigate the allegations. Anyone with any information can contact Bradenton Detective Alex Ribachuk at (941) 932-9309.