An elementary school teacher is wanted for sexual assault charges in Canada for allegedly raping a teen relative at a family wedding.
Owen Headley, a fifth-grade teacher at Hammock Pointe Elementary in Boca Raton, was arrested Wednesday at his home in Delray Beach. Authorities presented him with an international warrant request where he was wanted for the charges of incest, sexual exploitation of minors and sexual assault.
According to sources, Headley, 55, was removed from the school by Palm Beach County School Police last year. The reason behind that was due to the allegations brought against him. Following being removed from the school he was assigned to maintenance duties away from children.
Headley refused to exit his home when authorities arrived to arrest him early Wednesday, prompting agents to enter a back bedroom where he had been hiding to take him into custody.
Headley’s arrest was the result of an investigation by the US Marshals Service, Canadian authorities, and the Palm Beach County School Police, Puri stated.
“The US Marshals and their international partners remain vigilant in pursuing fugitives that may endanger children in our communities,” Puri said in a statement to The Post.
Reported by the Sun Sentinel, Headley appeared in court Wednesday and was held without bond due to flight risk concerns.
Headley, who had worked for the district since 2009. He was on personal leave from August through November 2017 and was reassigned upon his return to a position where he had no contact with students.
“To be clear: Mr. Headley has not been in a classroom for more than a year,” spokeswoman Kathy Burstein wrote in an email.
Headley is expected to return to court Friday with his attorney. He appeared in federal court Wednesday without an attorney despite indicating he had one. He’s also scheduled to appear for a pretrial detention hearing next week.
Federal and court records obtained by the Palm Beach Post show that Headley allegedly raped a 17-year-old relative in April 2017 while at a hotel in Brampton, Ontario for a family wedding.
The teen told authorities Headley booked a room with two king-size beds and asked the teen for a hug before bed. He then wrapped his arms around the teen and touched the teen inappropriately before touching himself.
Headley then allegedly raped the teen, leaving his relative “frozen with fear and disbelief at what was happening,” she told authorities. He then told the teen the following day that he wanted to give the teen a home on the Caribbean island of Barbados, an offer which Headley’s relative took as a bribe being offered.
After the wedding, Headley returned to Florida and his relative went back to a state in the Midwest. Headley then sent the teen $200 before the teen later saw a doctor and was diagnosed with chlamydia.
The diagnosis prompted the teen to tell other relatives about the alleged rape. The teen initially did not want to report the attack out of fear of being stranded by Headley in Canada or to damage his reputation within the family or as a teacher.
According to the Palm Beach Post, Peel Regional Police told Headley of the allegations in May 2017, leading him to indicate that he would not return to Canada to face the allegations. That led a judge to sign his arrest warrant in September.
Take a look below at mugshot images of teachers arrested for sexual assault.