Police: More victims come forward after ex-principal admits molestations

Police are looking for all of the victims of a confessed child molester who preyed on boys while working in Mesquite schools.

Vernon Horsley admitted to inappropriately touching boys while he was the principal at Rugel Elementary School between 1965 and 1970, according to police.

He
can't be charged for the 10 crimes he's admitted to due to statute of limitations in place at the time, but police think that if they find more current cases, charges could be filed.

Police say that the list of victims is growing.

"To me, it was hundreds of times," the man who made the first outcry about what happened at Rugel told FOX 4 via phone. "It had to be weekly or sometimes, daily."

The victim now has troubled health. He came forward because he wants others to know what's troubled him his entire life.

"He said, ‘This has got to be our little secret or we're both gonna be in a lot of trouble,'" said the victim.

He said Horsley would call him to the office over the school's P.A. system.

"…Pop me in his lap and put one leg over me and I'm trapped there," said the victim.

Police say they now have the names of 14 alleged victims, all with the same story and the same feelings.  

"What I keep hearing is a sense of shame, and when we talk to them, we try to explain that they were children," said Lt. Brian Parrish with the Mesquite Police Department. "They were victims. They didn't have a part in what happened to them. They didn't do anything wrong, but these victims still have the sense of shame."

Parrish says some of those who have come forward were students at another school, McWhorter Elementary, where Horsley was assistant principal.

He retired from being a full-time educator in 1988, and while the statute of limitations has ended on victims from the ‘60s and ‘70s, police are certain there are some from a more recent time, which would allow police to charge Horsley and put him on trial.

"We'd like to try and make this as right as we can," said Parrish. "We're gonna do as much as we can."

The victim FOX 4 spoke to encourages others to step out of the shadows.

"Some of the pain goes away once you verbalize it," he said.

Police ask that anyone with information about other potential victims calls the Mesquite Police Department.



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