A U.S. Army recruiter who was recently working to recruit students at Woodrow Wilson High School in Portsmouth, Virginia, to join the military was arrested after allegedly having inappropriate contact with a student.
Woodrow Wilson principal Dr. Timothy Johnson left the following message on families’ phones:
“I’m calling this afternoon to inform you that a military recruiter, who works in our building, has been alleged to have had inappropriate contact with a student. Upon hearing allegations of misconduct, we immediately investigated and notified police. The safety and security of our students is of utmost importance to us, and we take this responsibility very seriously. We have been and will continue to work closely with police in support of their investigation.”
The recruiter was identified as Staff Sgt. Tremaine Speller, military officials said.
“Speller has been suspended from all recruiting duties at Portsmouth, VA effective Jan. 10 and has been assigned to administrative duties at Norfolk, VA,” the Army Recruiting Command said in a recent statement. “The Army is cooperating with local authorities and will provide any support required for the investigation.”
The statement continued: “Army Recruiting Command takes all allegations of misconduct seriously. We do not tolerate inappropriate behavior by anyone in our command. We are the Army’s ambassadors to communities across America, and it is important for everyone on our team to live and demonstrate the Army Values every day. Recruiters are the face of the Army, and we expect them to serve honorably while representing the force.”
After further investigation, Portsmouth Police have charged Speller with two counts of taking indecent liberties with a child by a person in custodial or supervisory relationship, according to CBS-affiliate WTKR.
Speller’s trials is scheduled for Feb. 21 in Portsmouth Juvenile and Domestic Relations District court.