Monday, May 21, 2018
Public safety

Investigators look into more claims against Dunedin school volunteer

DUNEDIN — Pinellas sheriff's deputies say they've received dozens of calls from possible victims of a Dunedin school volunteer who's accused of paying a 12-year-old girl to pose for sexually explicit photos.

Investigators say Steven J. Andrews, 29, of 426 Roanoke St. in Dunedin paid the girl $100 to pose in various costumes, including full-body spandex and Hello Kitty outfits, at least three times since August. He then bound and gagged the girl and took pictures of her, which authorities say he admitted he later used during masturbation. He was arrested Tuesday on three counts of sexual performance by a child.

Detectives said he met the girl through his girlfriend. But they worried that Andrews, a volunteer at Dunedin Highland Middle and Dunedin High schools who also worked briefly at Children's Nest Day School in Tampa, might have had other victims.

Calls began pouring in after news of Andrews' arrest broke, sheriff's spokeswoman Marianne Pasha said Thursday. She said callers included women who described events from as long as eight years ago and caregivers of teens who say they've observed suspicious behavior by Andrews.

Detectives began interviewing some of the accusers Thursday.

"The number of phone calls makes apparent to us that there's a level of behavior that's been going on for years with this individual," Pasha said.

The tips, she said, extend beyond the types of photos reported earlier this week. However, she wouldn't disclose specifics, citing the ongoing investigation.

Keyonna Summers can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4153.

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