SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) – The news of a janitor’s arrest in the Nebo School District was undoubtedly a shock to many parents, but it was no surprise to several whom spoke with KUTV Tuesday.
“A lot of us parents, myself, were told that we were just crazy, that these were just allegations and we shouldn’t ruin someone’s reputation,” parent Nancy Glover said.
Detectives arrested Adrian Villar, 59, Tuesday on two counts of sexual abuse of a child in connection with allegations from two boys, ages eight and 11.
Glover and other parents expressed their concerns to the Nebo School District months ago when allegations of sexual abuse first surfaced against Villar, who was a janitor at Sierra Bonita Elementary School in Spanish Fork.
“The district needs to own this, they need to own their mistake,” Glover said
Several parents formed a Facebook group earlier this year where they discussed Villar and the allegations that had surfaced at the school. Glover spoke at the school district board meeting in mid-March.
Glover says in response to her concerns, on March 20, she received a letter from the district saying the accusations against Villar were “thoroughly investigated” and no evidence of abuse was found.
That is true, according to Spanish Fork Police Lt. Brandon Anderson, who told KUTV the first victim reported the abuse in February 2018 – a year after the alleged incident.
At that time, detectives determined there was insufficient evidence to criminally charge Villar, according to Anderson.
Sometime between February and May, the victim brought forward “new information” to police which substantiated the allegations, according to Anderson. Officers also saw video of a school surveillance camera from when the alleged abuse happened during the 2016-2017 school year.
“It does show the boy go into the bathroom and also Mr. Villar,” Anderson said.
Anderson did not know if that video was part of the original police investigation of the abuse in February.
Spanish Fork Police were also contacted by a second victim, the 11-year-old boy, who said Villar took him to an equipment shed and sexually abused him during the 2016-2017 school year at Sierra Bonita.
For its part, the Nebo School District released the following statement to KUTV Tuesday afternoon.
“Nebo School District is cooperating completely with law enforcement in this investigation and arrest that allegedly occurred in the employee’s previous assignment. The employee was immediately put on administrative leave when Nebo was notified by law enforcement.”
District spokesperson Lana Hiskey did not know what date Villar was placed on leave, but said it was when “law enforcement let the district know of more detailed accusations.”
Police told KUTV Villar was transferred from Sierra Bonita Elementary to another school in the district. Hiskey said the district could not immediately provide details about when and where Villar had worked in the district, but more information may be available Wednesday.
Glover and the other parents from Sierra Bonita who spoke to KUTV say they want more information about what the district knew about Villar and when.
“The district should have never put him back into an elementary school,” Glover said.