The Charlotte County Sheriff’s office has announced the arrest of a woman on multiple possible sex charges involving minors.
Reeghan Burgess, 30, was arrested Friday on eight possible charges, including unlawful sexual activity with certain minors. She remains in the Charlotte County Jail on $1 million bail.
Burgess worked at Crossroads Hope Academy in Punta Gorda. Crossroads is a non-profit home for teenage boys who have had multiple failed placements in the Florida foster care system.
Crossroads Hope Academy released a statement Saturday afternoon following the arrest of Burgess, saying in part:
“We are shocked and saddened by the allegations and will cooperate with authorities, and we will continue to put the safety and wellbeing of our kids first. “
Other staff members say they noticed something wasn’t right. They say concerns about Burgess were first brought to their attention in November of 2020 when they became concerned about Burgess’ behavior toward some of the boys.
They then called the child abuse hotline and placed her on administrative leave. She has since been fired from Crossroads.
Adma Horowitz is a sexual abuse lawyer who hopes the boys’ past won’t affect the outcome of the trial. He also says female abusers are more common than people realize.
“It happens less often than male victims, but in large enough numbers that it’s a troubling trend. And hopefully, these young people are able to get the counseling and therapy that they need,” he said. “Doesn’t have to necessarily define them for the rest of their lives. But they do need that counseling and therapy to process it. Because it is a betrayal.”
On at least one occasion, Burgess joined the boys on a hike to a state park and was frequently mentioned on the Crossroads Hope Academy Facebook page.
You can read Crossroads Hope Academy’s full statement here: