Melvyn Sprowson, a former Las Vegas Kindergarten teacher, was arrested Nov. 1, in connection with a missing 16-year-old Las Vegas girl.
The unidentified girl left her home voluntarily and was missing for approximately two months.
Initial reports said that the teens mother did not report her daughter missing immediately, however the mother, who shielded her identify during an interview, said that she did report her daughter missing.
She was found living at Sprowson’s home and, according to police was at his home voluntarily and was involved in a consensual relationship with him.
Police Sgt. Mitch Maciszak with the CCSD said,
She was a willing participant in this whole incident – there was no force used she was found in good health and unharmed.
The girl met Sprowson after placing an ad on craigslist for a roommate because she did not want to live at her home any longer.
In Nevada, the age of consent is 16, yet he was arrested and charged with with first degree kidnapping, child abuse or neglect, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and making a false statement to obstruct a public officer.
The false statement charge stemmed from a conversation police had with Sprowson the day before his arrest when he allegedly told them he did not know where they girl was.
He has also been fired from his job as a kindergarten teacher at Wengert Elementary school because he was absent from work without the required notice.
It appeared that because he was a teacher that prosecutors were coming after him hard.
After his arrest, according to court records, the girl he was invovled with was being treated for a sexually transmitted disease.
She has also reportedly been hospitalized after trying to commit suicide.
Prior to coming to Las Vegas, Sprowson was employed as teacher in California.
From 2004 through 2007, he was employed at Magnolia Avenue Elementary in Los Angeles and taught students in the 3rd through 5th grade.
Prosecutors in Nevada allege that he left the Los Angeles school district amid accusations that he inappropriately touched students.
In 2007, which appears to have been his least year teaching in California, a teachers assessment compiled by the LA Times rated Sprowson as a most effective teacher.
Although he was never charged with any wrongdoing in Los Angeles, 8 News Now reports that according to public records, Sprowson was sued by a child’s legal guardian for unlawful sexual acts and the school district was also sued for negligent hiring.
The district settled with the child’s family in 2010 for an undisclosed amount of money.
Sprowson was in his first year of teaching in Las Vegas and there was nothing adverse in his records to preclude him from being hired as a teacher.
The allegations and settlement in California were not disclosed to the CCSD, most likely because of perceived liability issues and, in essence, they passed off their problem teacher to another jurisdiction.
Sprowson’s bail had been reduced on some charges at one point, however, his bail has now been increased to $630,000.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 30.