Robert Little was a volunteer Eucharistic minister at St. Francis Xavier Church in Fort Myers beginning in 2010 until he abruptly resigned in the summer of 2013. Parishioners were not told why Little resigned. The Diocese of Venice recently claimed the minister’s resignation was for “health reasons.” We know now that his resignation was close in time to the dates on which he admitted to police that molested a child.
In early 2014, parishioners learned that their former minister was facing felony criminal charges for molestation of a mentally disabled teenage boy in summer 2013. During a statement Little provided to the Lee County Sheriffs’ office, Little admitted to abusing the boy at his Fort Myers Beach condominium. Notably, Little also admitted to police that he had a sexual interest in minors and had previously acted on his sexual desires with other boys. Although no longer working at the Diocese of Venice parish, Robert Little continued to reside at the time of his arrest at Villia Francisco, a senior-living facility owned by the Diocese of Venice. In the rear of Villa Francisco is a school playground.
Most recently in July 2014, Little pled guilty to lewd and lascivious behavior with a minor. He is now a registered sex offender in the State of Florida and was sentenced to one year in jail followed by sex offender probation.
The Diocese of Venice failed to appeal to Little’s potential victims to come forward to law enforcement to report any additional crimes. Notably, St. Francis Xavier in Fort Myers is the same parish where we recently exposed the alleged sex crimes of Diocese of Venice priest, Rev. Jean Ronald Joseph and the subsequent concealment of the Diocese tribunal finding that he was guilty of child sexual abuse. It is also the same parish where Rev. Charles Michael Cikovic and pled guilty in 1993 to child abuse sexual abuse. Similarly, a 2010 lawsuit accused Rev. Thomas Anglim of St. Francis Xavier of sexual abuse in the late 1960’s.
We are pleased to see that Robert Little is now facing criminal justice for these heinous acts. It took tremendous courage for this young abuse survivor to come forward. In doing so, however, he may well have saved another young boy from similar harm. It is a shame, however, that Diocese of Venice and St. Francis Xavier officials have done litte to locate other potential abuse vicitms, particularly where the perpetrator admitted to having acted on his desire to sexually abuse boys in the past.