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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Former MCPS employee convicted of sexually battering child

A 34-year-old former employee with the Marion County School District has been convicted of sexually battering a child.

On Wednesday, January 24, after 45 minutes of deliberations, jurors found Frederick Lamar Hamilton guilty on all eight charges, including multiple counts of lewd and lascivious battery of a child 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age.

Frederick Lamar Hamilton
Frederick Lamar Hamilton

On October 1, 2020, Hamilton was arrested by Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies at his home in Ocklawaha after a thorough investigation into allegations that he sexually battered the juvenile victim.

At the time of his arrest, Hamilton worked at Liberty Middle School in Ocala as a classroom assistant. A month prior to his arrest, in early September, Hamilton was placed on paid administrative leave since none of the allegations of sexual abuse took place on school property.

On September 2, 2020, the victim’s mother contacted the sheriff’s office after she learned that her 17-year-old son had been sexually battered by Hamilton on numerous occasions for the past six years.

During an interview, the victim told investigators that Hamilton had initiated a variety of sexual acts with him. The sexual abuse began when the victim was 12 years old and continued until he was 17.

The victim further told investigators that the abuse included numerous instances where Hamilton would sexually batter him at various locations, including a church in Ocala that Hamilton presided over.

Detectives collected additional witness testimony during the investigation that supported the victim’s statement of abuse.

An MCSO detective made contact with Hamilton to speak with him regarding the allegations. During the interview, Hamilton admitted to having sexual contact with the victim on three separate occasions. He was subsequently placed under arrest and transported to Marion County Jail.

“Children teach us many things – resiliency being one,” stated William “Bill” Gladson, Fifth Judicial Circuit State Attorney. “The victim in this case not only coped with the traumatic challenges of this insidious adult taking advantage of them, but the victim persevered through to make sure Hamilton was held responsible for his repulsive crimes.”

A sentencing hearing for Hamilton will be scheduled at a later time.