Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ex-employee accused of having sex with girl at Pinellas Park children's shelter

PINELLAS PARK — The former employee of a children's shelter is accused of having sex with a 14-year-old girl while she lived at the shelter last year.

Phonphit Souvannarath, 40, of 2585 59th Ave. S, was arrested Wednesday on a charge of sexual battery. Police say he had sex at least three times with the victim in April.

Souvannarath was a children's shelter technician at Personal Enrichment Through Mental Health Services, 11254 58th St. N, said Pinellas Park police Capt. Sanfield Forseth.

That's where the incidents took place, Forseth said. Souvannarath's job involved supervising children, though he was not a counselor at the shelter, he said. He was fired in May for unrelated complaints of inappropriate behavior, he said. The shelter was unaware of the allegations at the time, Forseth said.

Forseth said the shelter is not under investigation, and police do not think there are any other victims. The allegations came to light after the unidentified victim, now 15, was moved to a youth facility in Pasco County, he said.

Souvannarath turned himself in to authorities at the Pinellas County jail Wednesday morning. He has denied all of the allegations to detectives, Forseth said. He is being held without bail.

Follow This Just In on Twitter.

Ex-employee accused of having sex with girl at Pinellas Park children's shelter 01/21/10 [Last modified: Thursday, January 21, 2010 3:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Unemployed with a pre-existing condition, Republican David Jolly came to see Obamacare as 'safety net'

    Blogs

    Former Congressman David Jolly, who ran against Obamacare in 2013, said in an interview Monday night that he now considers it a "safety net."

  2. Five children hospitalized after chlorine release at Tampa pool store

    Accidents

    Five children were sickened at a pool store north of Tampa on Monday after a cloud of chlorine was released, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.

  3. Deputies find unidentified decomposing body in Dunedin canal

    Public Safety

    DUNEDIN — Pinellas County sheriff's deputies found an unidentified male body floating in a Dunedin canal Monday afternoon, the Sheriff's Office said.

  4. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  5. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108