By Jim Spiewak
September 24, 2014
LEE COUNTY, FL -The Diocese of Venice is backing away from claims about knowing nothing about a second child assaulted by Robert Little years before his conviction.
The family claims the second child's alleged assault by Robert Little was reported to the diocese, but the church did nothing about it. Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott says he personally spoke to the principal and pastor at St. Francis Xavier church in 2011, after his sister said Little assaulted her son.
The clarification statement from the Diocese of Venice given Wednesday acknowledged for the first time that a couple reported their son felt "uncomfortable" in the presence of Little.
Sheriff Scott says he also spoke to the leaders at St. Francis Xavier Church in 2011 over the alleged assault of his then 10-year-old nephew.
"The diocese, specifically St. Francis, was personally made and professional made aware by me and by the parents," said Sheriff Scott.
Tuesday's statement by the diocese reads:
"At no time either prior to or since the arrest of Robert Little did the Diocese of Venice or parish receive any complaint of an assault by Mr. Little."
Sheriff Scott says Wednesday's statement by the diocese that states "in 2011, a couple reported that their son felt uncomfortable in the presence of Mr. Robert Little. Although encouraged to make a formal report to the diocese assistant coordinator, the couple declined to do so" contradicts what the diocese said on Tuesday.
“Yesterday's quote from them was we don't know anything about this, were never made aware of this [and] have no idea. Just today they...you just read to me that 'yeah we knew about this,'" said Scott.
Scott tells us the alleged assault could not be classified as a criminal act. But Scott says after the family spoke with the church, more discipline of Little should have been done.
"This gentleman lived on the property, lived next door to the school," said Scott.
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