Former school janitor jailed for child soliciting

By Pat Maurer
Correspondent

A former Farwell School janitor, Donovan Cantu, 31 of Farwell, has been charged with soliciting a child and criminal use of a computer.

Donovan Cantu

Donovan Cantu

Farwell Interim Superintendent Tom House said, “I believe the employee did work here a little more than three years and resigned almost a year ago. From what I know it seems like the matter was dealt with quickly and appropriately by FAS [Farwell Area Schools] administration at the time, and law enforcement was involved early on.

According to information from Clare County Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis, “The matter was reported to police December 12th last year by former Farwell Superintendent Carl Seiter.

“However, the solicitation of the minor started earlier than that, based on witness statements and evidence obtained,” said Ambrozaitis.

She said cell phones were examined by the Computer Crimes Unit, and because of that, the investigation “took some time.” A felony complaint against Cantu was authorized August 8th, Ambrozaitis said.

Cantu was arrested September 13, according to information from the Clare County Sheriff’s office. A release said the schools had filed a complaint of “an employee having inappropriate contact with female students.” Detectives investigating the complaint found that Cantu had been allegedly communicating with a 13-year-old female student and a 14-year-old female student with an electronic device. They reported that it involved sending photographs and that it had been occurring since early 2015.

Cantu also reportedly was a youth coach for the Farwell Youth Wrestling club, which is not affiliated with the school district.

At his arraignment September 14, Cantu was charged with two felony counts authorized by the Clare County Prosecutor’s office:  “Children – Accosting for Immoral Purposes; and two more felony counts of “Use of a Computer to Commit a Crime. “All are punishable by up to four years in prison, Ambrozaitis said. His bond was set at $40,000 cash surety. He posted bond and has been released.

His next court date, a preliminary examination set for October 4 was adjourned to allow defense counsel time to review the digital evidence, Ambrozaitis said.

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