Accused child molester was school volunteer, officials say

WESH 2 News has learned that an accused child molester was a volunteer at two local elementary schools in Volusia County.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested Michael McCabe, 47, on Saturday, after McCabe allegedly molested children while babysitting for families he befriended. McCabe was also a lunchroom volunteer at schools in Holly Hill and Port Orange.

“I don’t like that at all. I would have liked to have been informed of that information,” Sugar Mill parent Amy Gibson told WESH 2 News.

After McCabe’s arrest, the school district notified the sheriff’s office that the suspect was a lunchroom aide at Sugar Mill Elementary in the 2015-2016 school year and in August of this school year. The district also notified faculty and staff, but until today, the district did not notify parents.

“I’m very angry that they didn’t send notice to anybody. Any parents at this school,” Gibson said.

Sheriff’s investigators said McCabe befriended several local families in past years, became a live-in babysitter and repeatedly molested children, some of whom called McCabe “Uncle Mikey.”

Deputies have identified four alleged victims who were all younger than 12 at the time, and a fifth has since come forward.

After WESH 2’s inquiries about McCabe’s work in the cafeteria at Sugar Mill and at Holly Hill School before that, school district officials sent a recorded message home to parents, explaining that none of the current charges are related to the schools and that McCabe had been thoroughly background checked with no red flags or complaints at that time.

However, some parents, including Kathleen Clark, said they should have been alerted as soon as the district learned McCabe was arrested.

“That’s definitely a conversation parents need to be having with their children,” Clark said.

The district is now asking for any school parent with concerns about McCabe to contact the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office Child Exploitation Unit.