Janitor accused of molestation dismissed from school district

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 14, 2000

A former McLaurin Elementary janitor charged with molesting a 10-year-old girl last month is no longer an employee of the school district.

The Natchez-Adams School District has stopped paying James Heckard, 51, 5 East Woodlawn St., a salary, said Superintendent Dr. Carl Davis.

And &uot;there are no plans in the near future for that to change,&uot; Davis said.

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Heckard allegedly molested the 10-year-old girl in a storage building outside McLaurin school Oct. 30.

Heckard was arrested Oct. 31 and placed on suspension with pay. Davis said he changed Heckard’s status last week based on preliminary information he received on the case.

More than 900 students attend second to sixth-grade at McLaurin Elementary. Heckard has worked for the school district for five years as a janitor.

The day of the alleged incident the victim went home and told her parents what had happened. The parents spoke to school administrators the next day and they called the police.

Police charged Heckard with child molestation and have finished their investigation, said Natchez Police Chief Willie Huff.

Heckard is free on a $20,000 bond and will have a preliminary hearing in Natchez Municipal Court on Dec. 7.