Milford police arrest custodian for harassment of grammar school student
Milford police arrested a Milford school custodian on Tuesday, Sept. 9 in connection with the harassment of a grammar school student. Police say Robert Rua, 55, of Milford is alleged to have left notes and gifts on the desk of the student.
According to police, the Milford Board of Education received a complaint on Sept. 9 from a grammar school student that she was receiving notes and gifts on her desk from an unknown person who was trying to develop a personal relationship with her.
The Board of Education administrators contacted the police department to conduct an investigation because the writing and content of the written communication appeared to be that of an adult.
The Milford police special investigations unit was assigned the case and determined that the notes and gifts were being left since the beginning of the school year and that the student only reported it to her parents.
Police say the student attempted to discourage the note-sender by leaving a note of her own on her desk, instructing whoever was leaving the notes and gifts to stop, however the communications and gifts continued.
She then reported it to the school administrators in the morning of Sept. 9.
Police say that their investigation developed Rua, employed as a custodian at the school, as a suspect. Obtaining a search warrant of Rua’s residence, police executed a search of the home on Sept. 9 and found items they describe as similar to those left for the student.
Police subsequently issued an arrest warrant for Rua after finding what they described as enough information linking Rua to the incident.
Rua was taken into custody without incident.
Rua is charged with risk of injury to a minor, second-degree harassment and disorderly conduct.
He was being held on a $50,000 bond at the time of his arrest.
School officials released a statement after the arrest.
“On Sept. 9, 2014, upon learning of a complaint made by an Orchard Hills Elementary School student in the Milford Public School district, the administration immediately contacted the Milford Police Department to conduct an investigation into the matter,” school officials said in a prepared statement.
“The police investigation confirmed that a custodian at the student’s school had been leaving notes and gifts on the student’s desk since the beginning of the school year. The student was never approached personally by the employee,” according to the press release.
The employee was arrested by Milford police on the same day this was brought to the administration’s attention, school offcials said.
“The employee has been placed on administrative leave by the Milford Public Schools, pending the result of the investigation,” the school press release states. “The Milford Public Schools continues to work with the Milford Police Department on this matter.”