Police: Nova High principal impeded rape investigation

DAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) - A Nova High School principal is under investigation for impeding a rape investigation at the school, which resulted in the arrest of a student, Davie Police said on Friday.

A juvenile boy at the school was arrested for sexual battery, Davie Police Captain Dave Engle said, after another student reported the incident to the school officer.

“The officer assigned here alerted his supervisor that we had a delayed sexual battery that had occurred here on campus,” Engle said.

Police said the victim may have taken some time to report the incident.

“We’ve made an arrest in the initial sexual battery case, yes,” Engle said. “But in that, we’ll continue our investigation to make sure we have all the facts that we can possibly obtain and to make as good a case as we possibly can.”

The principal of the high school impeded their investigation into the alleged rape, according to Engle.

“As we were conducting our investigation yesterday, yes, some of the actions that the principal took impeded our investigation,” Engle added.

But the Executive Director of the Broward Principal’s and Assistants’ Association, Lisa Mitchell, told 7News that Davie Police are the ones acting inappropriately.

“This is not the first incident where Davie Police has overstepped their authority. They had displayed inappropriate behavior including threatening the principal with arrest,” Mitchell said. “They go in like gangbusters. They are rude and abusive. Then they turn around and accuse the principal, which is absurd.”

Engle said that parents should pay attention their children’s behavior.

“My message to the community is that, if your child comes home, and they’re not acting right, ask some questions,” Engle said.

Argentina Hensley, a parent of a student at the school, was alarmed by the allegations.

“That’s dangerous because we want the children to be protected, you know, at least I think that way,” she said.

The Principal’s Association identified the principal in question as John Lacasse. His representative said the victim of the alleged sexual battery is a student at the school, and Lacasse did everything he could to help her.

In a statement, Broward County Chief Public Information Officer Tracy Clark said, “Broward County Public Schools takes all matters regarding student safety very seriously. District administration and the district’s special investigative unit are cooperating with local law enforcement regarding their investigation.”

Davie Police would not say how the principal impeded their investigation.

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