School Officials Say Alleged Child Predator Passed Background Check

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Peoria Unified School District officials have revealed that a former school security guard accused of having oral sex with a 14-year-old female student had been given a full background check before employment.

As is standard policy when the school district hires classified employees, an FBI fingerprint check and references check were performed along with the background check.

Deforest Hollingsworth, 28, worked as a security guard at Ironwood High School in Glendale. According to police, in September Hollingsworth allegedly retrieved a student from her fourth period science class and led her to the auditorium, where he coerced her into giving him oral sex.

Another student reported the incident to school officials, who alerted the Glendale Police Department. After conducting an investigation, during which Hollingsworth was placed on administrative leave, police arrested Hollingsworth and charged him with sexual conduct with a minor.

District officials say it is routine for school administrators to call upon security guards to pull students from their classes. Whether an explanatory note from the administrator is given to the student’s teacher depends on time constraints. Hollingsworth, however, was not asked by a school administrator to retrieve the student.

According to Assistant Superintendent Denton Santarelli, the district will now be reviewing this practice.

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