James Larkin is a long-time educator, having worked as Prinicpal in Tampa Day School and Headmaster at St. John’s Greek Orthodox School. According to a docket entry on Hillsbrough County Clerk’s office dated July 21, 2014, James Larkin now faces felony sex charges in Hillsborough County for the molestation of a minor, who was his former student at Tampa Day School. (Hillbrough County Case No. 14-CF-005573-A)
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, when the boy’s mother was out of town for the weekend in March 2014, Larkin and his wife watched the alleged victim and his sister. Larkin came into the boy’s room at night, laid down next to him and put his hands down the boy’s pants and fondled the boy’s genitals. Larkin admitted his actions were “inappropriate” in a phone call between the student and principal that was recorded by the sheriff’s office. Larkin was 63 years old at the time of the alleged incident. In April, Larkin was terminated after his arrest by Tampa Day School, where he had served for five years. Prior to serving as principal at Tampa Day School, Larkin resigned at headmaster at St. John Greek Orthodox School where he worked for over 30 years.
According to its website, Tampa Day School is a “specialized school for students in grades K-8 with mild to moderate learning disabilities, dyslexia, anxiety, and ADHD.” Larkin founded and led a “dad’s club” at Tampa Day School to develop social bonds between fathers and their sons enrolled in the school. Larkin was also involved in the Boy Scouts and numerous youth groups during his time as an educator. Larkin befriended the alleged victim and his mother over a period of months after the victim’s father passed away. Over time, Larkin became a surrogate dad for the child and routinely took the alleged victim to “Dad Club” meetings and other recreational activities.
Schools should be a place where parents can trust that their children will be cared for and protected from harm. Unfortunately, far too many sexual predators infiltrate the schools because of the opportunity to be alone with minors in a position of supervision. This is particularly tragic when it occurs at a school which treats special needs children. Reporting child sex abuse is never easy. But to report the abuse at such a young age when it was committed by an authority figure, such as a principal, requires extraordinary courage. By doing so, however, this child can now begin making the transition from vicitm to survivor. We commend this brave young boy for coming forward and reporting these events.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, contact our law firm at 855-700-PATH or send an email to sexual abuse attorney Adam Horowitz at [email protected]. Farmer Jaffe Weissing handles sexual abuse cases nationwide.