Twin brothers, Dustin Dalton and Donavan Dalton, have both been arrested this week by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office.
Both of them were teachers and both of them face charges related to inappropriate behavior with students. Dustin, who worked at Sylvania High School was arrested Monday. Donavan, who worked in a Fort Payne City School, was arrested Thursday night.
Now, the sheriff’s office is asking any possible additional victims in these two cases to come forward. Sheriff Nick Weldon said today that, “every child should be able to have an education without these types of predatory monsters seeking to take advantage to them.”
One survivor of sexual assault in DeKalb County said it is important to hold those accountable.
“I was sexually abused on and off between the time I was 12 to the time I was 15,” Anthony Kessler said.
Kessler never got justice. The now 22-year-old said investigators told him there was not enough evidence. He said he is thankful authorities are investigating these allegations against the Daltons and seeking justice for victims.
“It’s always heartbreaking, it always triggers me to think about what I’ve been through and you know I never got justice and I can only name one person I know where their predator actually got arrested,” Kessler said. “It’s very common for them not, so I was glad to at least see these people were arrested.”
28-year-old Donavan Dalton faces a charge of school employee having sexual contact with a student under the age of 19 years of age.
He made bond at $150,000 Friday afternoon. The Fort Payne City School Board accepted his resignation Friday morning, after learning about the arrest.
His twin brother, Dustin Dalton has two charges including enticing a child for immoral purposes and dissemination of obscene material.
DeKalb County Schools fired Dustin over the weekend after launching its own investigation, ahead of his arrest Monday. He has since bonded out. His bond was set at $100,000.
“These people are paid to teach and take care of these students and when they are doing the exact opposite, it’s a very unnerving feeling, like who can we trust with our children?” Kessler said.
Kessler said he worries about the long-term impact these actions may have on any victims.
“The crime is not the worst part. It’s the effects of the crime,” Kessler said. “It’s the mental effects, you know, like it puts you into jail, it puts you in a place no matter you’re in a crowd full of people you feel alone and you know that’s a scary feeling to have.”
Kessler now calls himself a survivor. He sought out therapy and is in a place where he feels empowered to talk about what he has been through publicly in order to help others.
“Don’t blame yourself. Don’t. It’s so common because that’s the first feeling,” Kessler said. “That’s probably what you feel now. It’s not a feeling you should feel because it’s not your fault. and there’s nothing you can do, it’s these predators fault.”
Kessler emphasizes the importance of speaking up if you have been a victim of sexual abuse. If you have any information relating to these two cases, contact the Sheriff’s office at 256-845-3801.
Both school districts said Friday, they are working with authorities on both investigations.