PBC elementary school teacher accused of sex crimes in Canada


A former suburban Boca Raton elementary school teacher, wanted in Canada on charges including incest, sexual exploitation of minors and sexual assault, was arrested Wednesday morning at his Delray Beach home, the U.S. Marshals Service said. 

Owen Headley, 55, hasn’t been in a classroom for more than a year, according to Palm Beach County School District authorities. School records indicate Headley had been employed at Hammock Pointe Elementary School as a fifth-grade teacher.  

Headley “was removed from the school by Palm Beach County School Police due to the allegations last year and assigned to maintenance duties away from children,” said U.S. Marshals spokesman Manny Puri.

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MORE: A teacher’s arrest was delayed for months. Then the victim saw him at school

Marshals said Headley hid in a back bedroom Wednesday morning when they arrived at his Delray Beach home to arrest him. He refused to come out, marshals said, so they entered the home. 

Puri said he did not know from which jurisdiction in Canada the charges stem. But police sources in Canada said the case is being investigated by the regional police in Peel, just west of Toronto. 

A spokesman for that agency confirmed Headley faces three charges. But, Constable Harinder Sohi said, “there will be no further comment from us, nor can we go into the specifics of the charges at this time.”

Headley appeared Wednesday before Magistrate Judge Dave Lee Brannon, who ordered he remain in custody. Authorities had requested that he be held “based on risk of flight.”

Headley told the magistrate he had not had time to contact an attorney before Wednesday’s hearing. He is set to return to federal court at 10 a.m. Friday for another hearing when he can have an attorney present. A pre-trial detention hearing is set for Sept. 6.

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Headley’s nephew, Ian Headley, said Wednesday morning that he’s not sure why his uncle would have been in Canada.

“He helped a lot of people, changed a lot of lives,” Ian Headley said about his uncle. 

The younger Headley wouldn’t speculate as to the charges his uncle is facing. He said he learned of his uncle’s arrest through news reports.  



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