Florida School Principal Arrested for Slapping, Choking Student

The principal had previously faced charges of abusing a child in 2017, when he was a camp counselor, and in 2019, when he was an employee at another school.

OCALA, Fla. – The principal of Destiny Leadership Academy was arrested Saturday on allegations he abused a student.

Dontay Akeem Prophet, 33, faces charges of aggravated child abuse and false imprisonment of a child under the age of 13 years, reports ClickOrlando.

Video surveillance footage showed the principal physically restraining a young male student, reports Fox35Orlando. Authorities say Prophet grabbed the victim, put him in a chokehold, twisted his ankle, slapped him in the face, and used a charging cable to strike him. Video also showed the principal of the private Christian school preventing the child from leaving the room for more than 40 minutes.

Prophet claimed he was trying to prevent the student from harming himself, but authorities say the video evidence clearly contradicts his allegations.

Principal Previously Faced Felony Charges Related to Children

This is not the first time the principal has faced felony charges related to a minor. In 2019 while he was working for South Ocala Elementary School, Prophet was charged with lewd and lascivious conduct of a child under the age of 16, reports WCJB. He also faced accusations that he invited a student to his residence and touched him sexually.

Additionally, in 2017, he was accused of molesting a child he met when he worked as a camp counselor, reports Fox35Orlando. In 2023, Prophet violated his probation, but the case was closed. The prosecutor dropped one of the charges, and the court withheld adjudication of the matter.

Destiny Leadership Academy administrators wouldn’t say why Prophet was hired by the school. He no longer works for the campus.

Schools can sometimes struggle identifying employees who pose a threat, especially if they haven’t been convicted of a crime. However, conducting comprehensive criminal background checks; verifying an applicant’s education, credentials, and previous employment; and regularly reassessing an employee screening program can help. Here are 10 Tips for Conducing Better Background Checks.

If you appreciated this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!

About the Author

robin hattersley headshot

Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

Leading in Turbulent Times: Effective Campus Public Safety Leadership for the 21st Century

This new webcast will discuss how campus public safety leaders can effectively incorporate Clery Act, Title IX, customer service, “helicopter” parents, emergency notification, town-gown relationships, brand management, Greek Life, student recruitment, faculty, and more into their roles and develop the necessary skills to successfully lead their departments. Register today to attend this free webcast!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Our Newsletters
Campus Safety Conference promo