Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Duval school janitor was investigated previously on complaints involving children

Wayne Willis Williams
Duval County jail
Wayne Willis Williams

New details have been released about a Duval County school janitor accused of sexual battery against a child over multiple years.

The child was not a student, a police report shows, but the school district says Walter Willis Williams, 62 — a janitor for 29 years — had been investigated three times in the past for complaints involving children.

Williams faces five counts of sexual battery on the same teen over several years and another count of kidnapping. The last incident occurred June 22, just before the girl went on a family vacation, the police report says.

The girl disclosed Williams' behavior to family members during that trip, and they reported it to police, the report says.

The Duval school district said Williams has been "administratively reassigned with no student contact" as police and the district continue to investigate.

Williams had been investigated previously on these complaints involving children, the district said:

  • 2015: Williams was investigated for "inappropriate comments of a sexual nature about students" during a conversation with an employee. The claim was determined to be unsubstantiated.
  • 2018: Williams was investigated for "non-sexual inappropriate comments" with students. School officials gave him a verbal warning.
  • 2021: The district received a tip that Williams had asked a student for nude photos. A school district investigation concluded the allegations were unsubstantiated.

When the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office announced the charges against Williams on Tuesday, Lt. Jacob Vorpahl said detectives learned there were “highly questionable and likely criminal interactions" between Williams and students at some of the schools where he worked. Vorpahl did not specify what those interactions were.

"There are indications that the suspect has engaged in this type of activity going back as far as the early '90s,” Vorpahl said.

The school district said Williams was hired Feb. 25, 1993, as a school custodian and worked at nine schools, one of them twice. He was pulled from the last school, Ramona Boulevard Elementary, in September when administrators learned about the police investigation.

The district, like the Sheriff's Office, asked anyone with information about Williams to call the Sheriff's Office at (904) 630-0500.

Williams remains in the Duval County jail without bond, his arraignment set for Nov. 30, court records show. The sexual battery charges carry potential life sentences, police said.

Willis has no prior arrest record for sexual battery but was arrested in 1998 on an aggravated battery charge that was dropped, court records show.

Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years as a radio, television and print reporter in the Jacksonville area, as well as years of broadcast work in the Northeast. You can reach Dan at, (904) 607-2770 or on Twitter at @scanlan_dan.