JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- 61-year-old Michael Worrell was arrested here at his home Tuesday night, after three children between the ages of nine and thirteen came forward saying Worrell had sexually assaulted them at local hotels.
Worrell is a fourth grade teacher at Greenfield Elementary School. Action news has learned he was removed from his classroom august 22nd.
Worrell's wife of 24 years, Alma, told me she was shocked to hear about the allegations against her husband. "He will fight because he's innocent," says Alma.
She claims he was only trying to help these young girls. "I know he's just trying to help them out. Share a little bit. Stay over here in the house. That's it," she says.
Neighbors who live next door to Worrell say he was a good neighbor and seemed to be a family man. "I'm shocked. Shocked. I would've never imagined," says neighbor Rodney Lewis.
Rodney Lewis says he never suspected someone accused of such terrible crimes would be living right next door. "You never know now a day," he says.
The Duval County School District released this statement to Action News. "The Duval Schools family is extremely concerned by the allegations against a teacher at Greenfield Elementary School. Based on a new process and enhanced communication between agencies, the district removed this teacher from the classroom immediately upon notification of an investigation into inappropriate behavior off campus."
The school superintendent is recommending Worrell be suspended without pay.