Police: More Victims of Teacher Accused of Sex Acts Could Be out There

April 5, 2013

Stephen Budd is accused of offering "Budd Bucks," or candy, to two of his fourth-grade students in exchange for sexual acts.

Police are urging potential additional victims to come forward and a local school has released a statement after one of its former teachers, Stephen Budd, was accused of giving young girls candy in exchange for sex.

Budd, 51, was arrested Wednesday after detectives set up a sting in which they recorded phone calls, Facebook messages and text messages between Budd and two girls he's accused of having sex with during the 2006-2007 school year when they were 9 years old.

The alleged sex acts happened while Budd was a teacher at Rosarian Academy, which released the following statement Friday:

"Rosarian Academy's leadership was shocked and distressed to learn Wednesday of disturbing allegations against a former teacher at the school by two of our alums. We are cooperating fully with local law enforcement in the investigation so that the facts associated with this alleged incident dating back to the 2006-2007 school year are brought to light as quickly and comprehensively as possible.

"Nothing is more important to us at Rosarian Academy than the safety and well-being of our students. Nurturing their healthy growth and intellectual and spiritual development has been at the core of the school’s mission since 1925. We have in place procedures and protocols for interviewing prospective faculty and checking their background and references. As more information comes to light, we will continue to keep the Rosarian family and our community fully informed about this serious matter. Our prayers are with the families involved."

Parent Rob Catanese is struggling to believe the accusations his daughter’s former teacher is facing.

“To find out that something like this happened, it’s crazy,” said Catanese.

Catanese said his daughter was also a student in Budd’s class at Rosarian Academy that year.

“I did talk to my daughter after finding out what happened,” Catanese said. “She was like, ‘No, dad. Everything was fine. Nothing happened.’”

Police said no additional victims have come forward, but they still believe other victims are out there.

Before going to Rosarian, Budd worked at St. Francis of Assissi in Riviera Beach, a Catholic school that is now closed. He spent six years at Rosarian before moving on to Delray Youth Vocational High School for a year, and then on to South Tech Vocational School.

Budd is still employed at South Tech.

"I would say he's been a stellar employee from everything we know about him," said Jim Kidd, chief administrative officer at South Tech Vocational School.

Kidd said the students at South Tech are all older, between 16 and 21 years old. The principal at Delray Youth Vocational High School said the same about her students. The school officials believe their students are safe, but they’re still asking questions.

"All we have done since Wednesday morning is focus on this," Kidd said. "Yeah, we're talking to students."

Budd faces sexual battery charges. He's being held without bond at the Palm Beach County Jail.








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