With a simple Google search for his name, John Gladstone Allen, a Lehigh Acres church may have been able to prevent a volunteer from allegedly sexually assaulting several young girls.
When the first victim returned to the house, her grandfather could tell that she was clearly upset. Tears immediately dripped from her eyes. His granddaughter had difficulty speaking.
But, as she collected her thoughts, his granddaughter finally composed herself and expressed the traumatic experience she underwent.
“She told me this guy,” the grandfather said, who is not identified due to confidentiality laws, “stuck his hands underneath her blouse and in her pants.”
Research overwhelmingly concludes that childhood sexual abuse, such as rape, puts young victims at significant risk for psychological, behavioral and medical problems that often continue into adulthood.
The young child was traumatized from the incident, according to her grandfather. “Now she’s going to counseling,” he said. “It don’t help her. I mean, she’s got it bad.”
The grandfather is furious at the church.
“Don’t do no investigation,” she said. “Just let someone come in there volunteer, work without them checking on the person? No that just don’t cut it.”
Had the church checked his record, it would have found that Allen is required by law to remain 300 feet from elementary schools. The discovery would have lead the spiritual organization to consider difficult questions about the man’s background.
But Allen’s escapades don’t stop there.
Just hours after the grandmother called the Sheriff’s Department, Allen broke into an elderly woman’s home. He later admitted to attempted rape.
Allen, who is accused of sexual assault and sexual battery, was found underneath a bridge, which is in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Kids use the bridge every day to walk to a school that is less than 400 feet away. He was peering up at the children, according to police, when he was apprehended.
“Oh that’s scary because I have five kids,” Marceline Pierrevil said, who lives adjacent to the bridge. “My kids always go on that bridge.”
The grandparents of the traumatized girl want this to be a lesson to other parents in the area. Even though Allen is locked up, there are resources, such as a map that will provide all the listed sexual offenders in the neighborhood.
While disturbed, Pierrevil has learned from the experience that the grandparents and their young grandchild have gone through.
“Now I’m going to be more careful,” Pierrevil said. “Make sure my kids stay inside don’t go outside because you don’t know who’s watching them.”
If you you are not sure about a person, and would like to make a search to determine if they are a registered predator, or if you would like to look to see if a neighborhood has any predators in it, you can visit the Sexual Offender and Predator website here.