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Police say that a California principal molested 7 girls over the past 15 years. Robert Benson Adams, 60, was arrested and charged with six felony counts of committing lewd and lascivious acts on children under 14 and a misdemeanor charge of annoying or molesting a child under 18.
Adams has run the Creative Frontiers School since 1975. Creative Frontiers School is a private school located in Citrus Heights, California for preschool children and children in grades K-6. About 180 students were enrolled at the school.
The girls he is accused of abusing were between the ages of 4-7, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Adams has maintained his innocence, and some parents of children enrolled at the school have also voiced their support of the former principal.
Adams is alleged to have pulled the girls into his lap when they were in his office, touching them inappropriately.
In July, the city and state revoked Creative Frontiers' daycare and business licenses, according to MSNBC. The school remained closed in the fall.
Two of the school's teachers told police that they had seen Adams molesting girls in his office before. It's unclear if they reported these incidents to the police, MSNBC reports.
In California, there is mandatory reporting of child abuse and child neglect. Certain individuals, such as teachers, instructional aides, or social workers must report child abuse if they have knowledge that child abuse has happened. Or, if they reasonably suspect that child abuse has occurred.
A mandatory reporter who fails to report child abuse cases may face fines and jail time.
In this case, if teachers or other school administrators reasonably suspected, or knew, that the principal molested girls, they should have reported the incidents according to California law. As for the principal himself, Robert Benson Adams could get up to 8 years in jail for each felony count if he is found guilty, according to MSNBC.