Former Bell teacher found guilty of capital sexual battery

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A former Bell Elementary School teacher was found guilty of capital sexual battery on Friday.

According to a State Attorney Eighth Judicial Circuit press release, a Gilchrist County jury found William Charles Carawan, 33, guilty of capital sexual battery and two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation on a child under 12 by a person over 18 years of age.

William Charles Carawan
Eighth Judicial Circuit William Charles Carawan

Carawan was charged with sexually battering at least four victims multiple times between 2019 and 2022, according to a Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) investigation after deputies responded to Bell Elementary School on April 22, 2022, regarding an allegation of inappropriate behavior.

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GSCO deputies arrested Carawan on May 20, 2022, on six criminal sexual felony counts. The GCSO received additional leads following the arrest.

According to a Gilchrist County School District (GCSD) release sent on May 20, 2022, Carawan, who was hired by GCSD in 2016, passed a full background check at the time of his employment.

The trial lasted four days with Judge David Kreider presiding. The jury took just over an hour before returning a guilty verdict.

Carawan will be sentenced on July 30.

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