An 18-year-old janitor from Riverhead was arrested on a child endangerment charge after “inappropriate communications” with a 7-year-old girl at the Shirley elementary school where he worked, according to Suffolk County Police.

The janitor engaged in a face-to-face conversation with the student yesterday, inquiring about her access to the internet and electronic means of communication, police said. He then gave the student his telephone number and told her to contact him.

An investigation by Seventh Precinct Crime Section officers revealed the man had left notes of adoration in the student’s desk prior to the in-person conversation, according to the report.

He was arrested at the school on this morning at 10:42 a.m. and charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child, police said.

Police are not disclosing the man’s identity due to his age, a Suffolk police spokesperson said. Since he is under the age of 19, he is eligible for youthful offender status under state law and, by law, a judge can set aside a conviction for most crimes on the basis that the defendant was under 19 at the time of the offense.

He will be held overnight at the Seventh Precinct and arraigned tomorrow at First District Court in Central Islip.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.