Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former Lowry Park Zoo volunteer receives probation for molesting boy

TAMPA — A Lowry Park Zoo volunteer accused of fondling a child in the men's restroom last year was given four years' probation Tuesday.

Because the victim and his family wanted to avoid a trial, they agreed to a plea deal, which withheld adjudication in the case of Cameron James Spurback, 23, who has a disfiguring disease.

He will undergo a psychosexual evaluation and be placed in a treatment program. The judge told Spurback that he will have to abide by every rule set by the program staff and his mother.

"Do you understand?" Circuit Judge Chet A. Tharpe asked. "If you violate either one of those rules, you're going to come see me and I'm going to put you in jail."

Spurback had no criminal history. The zoo did a background check on him before he began his volunteer position preparing food for the animals, Tampa police said at the time.

Spurback went into the restroom at the end of his shift about 2:15 p.m. one day in March 2011, approached a grade-school-age boy, pulled the boy's pants down and fondled him, authorities said. The boy told authorities Spurback then pulled down his own pants and fondled himself.

The child ran and told his parents what had happened. They flagged down security.

Spurback was charged with lewd and lascivious exhibition and lewd and lascivious molestation, and he was dismissed from the volunteer position.

He won't be allowed to work or volunteer at a zoo or other places children frequent without approval from the court and his treatment provider, the judge said.

Former Lowry Park Zoo volunteer receives probation for molesting boy 12/04/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 11:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pasco County mulls preserving former Ft. King ranch

    Environment

    LAND O'LAKES — Nearly three decades after Freeman Polk unsuccessfully attempted to auction his massive Fort King Ranch, the thousands of acres north of State Road 52 just might have a new buyer — Pasco County.

    A Pasco advisory committee is recommending the county acquire the nearly 3,600 acres formelry known as the Fort King Ranch north of State Road 52.
  2. A year after impasse, Pasco school contract talks run more smoothly

    Teachers

    LAND O'LAKES — Representatives from the Pasco County school district and the United School Employees of Pasco sat together several times in the weeks leading to Thanksgiving break, trading contract proposals amid (mostly) amicable conversation.

    Representatives from the United School Employees of Pasco, left, hold contract talks Nov. 9, with district negotiators. The sides are nearing an agreement.
  3. Lightning beats Blackhawks in OT

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The Lightning entered Wednesday's game against the Blackhawks determined to avoid its first losing streak of the season.

    Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (2) gets to the puck ahead of Lightning right wing Ryan Callahan during the first period, in which Chicago had the better of play and a 2-0 lead.
  4. Basketball: USF Bulls bounce back with rout of Howard; FSU, Miami win

    College

    TAMPA — Three nights after running out of steam in a loss at Indiana, USF had enough to steamroll Howard of the MEAC.

  5. Across country, small retailers aim for emotional ties big chains may lack

    Business

    Some smaller retailers will tug at shoppers' heartstrings during the holidays, trying to create an emotional experience or connection that a big national chain might not provide.

    Some smaller retailers will tug at shoppers’ heartstrings during the holidays, trying to create an emotional experience or connection that a big national chain might not provide. Keep St. Pete Local is an independent business alliance in St. Petersburg that has more than 600 members.