Friday, April 05, 2013

Stephen Budd traded 'Budd Bucks' for sex acts with girls, police say

Former teacher at Rosarian Academy arrested in West Palm Beach
Published 5:40 PM EDT Apr 04, 2013

Stephen Budd is accused of offering "Budd Bucks," or candy, to two of his fourth-grade students in exchange for sexual acts.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. —A West Palm Beach teacher faces sexual battery charges after a girl told police he gave her candy in exchange for sexual acts.

Stephen Budd, 51, was arrested Wednesday as he attempted to leave his apartment.

West Palm Beach police said the alleged acts occurred while Budd was a fourth-grade homeroom teacher at Rosarian Academy during the 2006-07 school year.

According to the police report, Budd rewarded the girl and another student with "Budd Bucks," or candy, in exchange for sexual acts. The girls were both 9 years old at the time.

Police said this occurred during the second week of the school year and "quickly became a daily routine."

Detectives engaged in a series of controlled calls, Facebook messages and text messages with Budd and the girls. Although Budd apologized, he did not specify for what.

During the final call, police heard "the sounds of rummaging and zippers" before Budd said he had to go to bed and abruptly ended the call.

That's when officers went to his apartment and arrested him before he could leave.

Police said they believe there could be other victims.

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