WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- In a recorded interrogation with the West Palm Beach Police Department, Stephen Budd, the former Rosarian Academy teacher accused of engaging in sexual activity with at least two of his fourth grade students, questioned why the now-teenage girls would have made the allegations against him.
Earlier this year, two former students came forward and told the police department that in 2006, when they were in the fourth grade, Budd had engaged in sexual activity with them.
Investigator: "Why do you think this is going on now?"
Budd: "I don't know. I don't know."
Investigator: "And, you don't have anything that you think that you should be forthcoming about right now?"
Investigator: "Were there any times where you were at the school and you did masturbate and then the girls did walk in or something?"
Budd: "There is no answer and I can't piece it together either. So, I'm thinking at this point, you know, I need a lawyer."
After investigators left the interrogation room, Budd is heard saying "Why? Why would she do this?"
In graphic statements to the West Palm Beach Police Department, one of the students detailed allegations of oral sex being performed in the classroom.
One of the students also detailed an instance of photographs of her genitals being taken with a Polaroid in a school bathroom.
The students told police that Budd would give them "Budd Bucks" -- a fake dollar bill with his face on it -- in exchange for the sexual acts.
In a statement to WPTV NewsChannel 5 earlier this month, Virginia Devine, principal of Rosarian Academy, said she was shocked and appalled.
“We continue to be shocked and appalled by the allegations from seven years ago," Devine said. "Nothing is more important to us at Rosarian Academy than the safety and well-being of our students, and we pray that justice is served so that the families involved and our entire school community can continue to heal. ”
In April, Budd was charged with two counts of sexual battery, two counts of lewd or lascivious exhibition and one count of lewd or lascivious molestation.
Earlier this year, one of the students told police that Budd had tried get in touch with her through Facebook.
She told her parents, who contacted police.
"Based on our investigation, we feel that he is serial offender we are very confident that there are additional victims out there," Vince DeMasi, the chief of the West Palm Beach Police Department, said in April. "We want to make sure that victims come forward and assist in this."
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