A Santa Fe College professor, Kevin Kasper, was one of 22 people arrested in Gainesville Police Department’s undercover project to identify online sexual predators.
The college offers a popular dual enrollment program for students as young as sixth graders.
“We are very fortunate that we have a task force of law enforcement that proactively attempts to find offenders before they can victimize somebody,” Santa Fe College Police Chief Ed Book said.
Book said that he believes that no community in the nation can be considered safe enough for minors to be unaware of potential threats to their safety, but the college provides resources to equip them to be prepared if they are in a dangerous situation.
There are about 700 dual enrollment middle and high school students at Santa Fe College every semester, and they are able to take college courses for credit for free said Jen Homard, the director of the program.
There are special dual enrollment advisors available to help dual enrolled students, but are mostly integrated into the college community.
“They are still considered college students, if they are 10, 11, 12 or 70– all the resources of the college are available to them,” Book said.
The college’s resources include free safety training and suspicious person reporting programs Book said.
All full-time staff at the college are subjected to background checks and finger printed.
“When someone commits a crime on or off campus, we take it seriously, especially if it’s by staff,” Book said. “The more serious the crime, the more serious the potential ramifications they face.”
“I consider these crimes very serious as chief, and the college and all college staff would consider any crimes that involve sexual violence and victimization to be extremely serious,” Book said.
He said the college’s human resources department will determine what actions to take with the professor in light of the arrest, once they have enough information from the investigation.
“We don’t tolerate victimization of any kind,” Book said.
Kasper is being held in the Alachua County Jail on a $75,000 bond and faces three felony charges.
Editors Note: The story was changed to reflect that Kasper was one of 22 men arrested.