SWFL man’s sexual abuse of young boys chronicled in almost 300-page documentation

Reporter: Anika Henanger Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
William Sheehan, a former San Carlos Elementary School teacher and Camp Miles counselor. Sheehan is accused of sexually abusing young boys at Camp Miles in the 1980s. he was never arrested for those accusation. Credit: Sun Chronicle.

We acquired hundreds of pages of documentation chronicling the years of inappropriate touching a former Lee County teacher who was also a Charlotte County camp counselor is accused of committing against several young boys. Eventually, the teacher resigned, and the state stripped him of his certificate.

This man is William Sheehan, a former Boy Scout leader and former fourth-grade teacher at San Carlos Park Elementary School back in the 1980s.

Aaron Averhart was 15 years old when he reported Sheehan after he says Sheehan sexually abused him for years at Camp Miles in Charlotte County. Averhart told us he was still scared of Sheehan at the time he made the report.

And within nearly 300 pages of documentation from School District of Lee County are allegations Sheehan molested kids at Camp Miles.

Parents went to the principal at San Carlos Elementary to ask him to keep Sheehan away from their kids.

In the documents, there are the handwritten stories, records dating back 30 years, centering on William Sheehan. A principal, multiple investigators and a student recount stories of abuse at Camp Miles, a summer camp run by Boy Scouts of America.

“It was only two weeks into the second summer that he started to rape me,” Averhart said. “I was 13 that second summer, and it just got progressively worse from there.”

Averhart said he’s the one who came forward to another Camp Miles counselor in 1989.

What reportedly happened at the camp was learned by those at San Carlos Elementary because Sheehan taught fourth grade there.

The documents show parents of two male students warned the school principal about Sheehan. Their stories sounded like Averhart’s.

“He had started to choke me, more so in the third and fourth summers,” Averhart said. “He liked to dunk me in the water when we were on the waterfront to the point where I didn’t think I was going to be back up in time to get a breath.”

Investigations were opened and closes again and again.

But Sheehan remained in the classroom at San Carlos on the condition he would not touch any students.

“It was year four, and it was a breaking point,” Averhart said. “I had contemplated cutting my wrists. That was the only option I had, I thought.”

But Boy Scouts severed ties with Sheehan. Then, School District of Lee County launched an official investigation.

Instead of defending himself, Sheehan quit. In his letter of resignation, he called the accusations against him a “lie.” Sheehan also said he did not want to put his family through a public hearing and be forced to leave because of “false allegations.”

In the handwritten note written by a student, he said Sheehan walked around Camp Miles early in the morning and late at night. One time, the boy said he asked Sheehan why he did that.

The boy said Sheehan answered, ‘Because I love you guys.”

Sheehan died in Fort Myers in 2017 from advanced Alzheimer’s disease.

He is also accused of molesting children in Massachusets. He was never arrested for accusations against him out of state or in Southwest Florida.

Another victim has formed a survivor’s network. Anyone who wants to connect can call (508) 479-8352.

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