Pulaski County officials wasted no time firing the director of an after-school program after his arrest this weekend on rape charges.
North Little Rock police jailed 27-year-old George Haney early Sunday after they say they found him in the backseat of a car with a teenager who said Haney forced him to have sex.
“I was shocked,” said Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde when he heard about the arrest.
Haney directed a program for children of various ages after school at the Second Baptist Church in Little Rock.
“He was hired in August of 2016 and he passed all the criminal background checks,” said Cozetta Jones, spokesperson for the county. “We do a criminal, adult maltreatment, child maltreatment as well as sex-offender registry check and he passed all of those.”
But Sunday morning, police say Haney put himself on all those lists.
A patrol officer shined a light on a car with fogged windows outside a North Little Rock elementary school.
A boy, around the age of 14, popped his head up.
The victim said the two met on an app and Haney forced him to have sex.
Now his former employers are scrambling to make sure there are no victims among the children in the after-school program.
“There's not any indication that there has been with other children,” said Hyde. “It also looks like there’s no indication the child in this case was a part of our program.”
The job description for the position that Haney held is part of the reason why the county is so concerned. It calls for hands-on work with children in the same age group as the victim in the arrest. It's also the reason the county is checking and double-checking the way they vet their job candidates.
“We're bringing in a child behavioral specialist who is working with us on getting permission slips on all the parents,” Hyde said. Once parents sign off, that expert will assist the investigation. The county has reached out to Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Youth Home for advice on what to do next.
“We're just answering those questions as they come,” said Jones. “We’re making sure that the parents know that we do support them and that we have their kids best interests at heart.”
Haney has been held without bond ahead of a first appearance in court.
Youth Services director Jamie Scott will personally lead the after school program in the interim while a replacement is found.
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