Treasure Coast High School band director facing charges of sexual activity with minors

Girlfriend was also arrested

The director of the Treasure Coast High School marching band is facing 39 charges of sexual activity with minors and his girlfriend, a band instructor at Manatee Academy K-8, is charged with being an accessory after the fact, officials said Saturday.

"Friday night, we arrested Dominic L. Madison, a teacher at Treasure Coast High School," Sheriff Ken J. Mascara said in a prepared release. "He faces 39 charges of sexual activity with minors and one count of using a child in a sexual performance. He is being held at the St. Lucie County jail under $1,535,000 bond."

Also arrested Friday night was Janifer Thomas, 35, described by detectives as Madison's girlfriend. She is charged with being an accessory after the fact and failure to notify law enforcement of knowledge of a suspect of child abuse.

Arrest affidavits show Madison and Thomas share a home in the 4200 block of Aberfoyle Avenue, Fort Pierce.

Schools Superintendent Michael Lannon said Saturday that Thomas is a band instructor at Manatee Academy K-8 school and confirmed that Madison is TCHS band director.

Both teachers were immediately suspended from their jobs as per school district policy, Lannon said. District officials will meet Monday to decide if the suspensions will be with or without pay, he added.

A spokesman for the Sheriff's Office said the charges against Madison involve two female victims, both 17. He would not divulge how the alleged incidents were brought to the attention of the Sheriff's Office, other than to say someone who is not a parent and is not connected with the school system called investigators.

"We believe there may be additional victims," Mascara said. "I want to ask parents of Mr. Madison's female students to talk with their daughters. I encourage victims to contact sheriff's detectives at 772-462-3230."

The "sexual performance" charge relates to a sexual encounter recorded by Madison and stored on one of his computers, Mascara said. Detectives seized several of Madison's computers and storage devices, which detectives are examining for additional evidence.

According to an arrest affidavit for Thomas, deputies went to a home in the 1300 block of Southwest Amboy Avenue, Port St. Lucie, on Thursday and spoke with a man who Thomas had contacted earlier in the day. He told deputies that Thomas had told him she found a video on her home computer around 5 p.m. Thursday of Madison having sex with a minor.

She confronted Madison, drove to an area store, then contacted the man — whose relationship to Thomas was not explained in the affidavit.

Deputies went to the home of Thomas and Madison about 10 p.m. Thursday. Madison was not home and Thomas told deputies she did not know his whereabouts.

Detectives received information about 12:30 p.m. Friday that indicated Madison was at the Holiday Inn Express in Port St. Lucie West. When deputies arrived at the hotel, Madison was gone. But clerks at the hotel told detectives that Thomas had phoned Madison several times.

Detectives returned to the Aberfoyle Street home and arrested Thomas, both for not informing on Madison's whereabouts and not reporting the suspected abuse in a timely manner, as teachers are required to do by state law.

Madison was arrested at the Holiday Inn Express at 7:56 p.m. Friday. No details of his arrest or alleged actions, other than the charges, were described in arrest reports that were released Saturday.

Lannon said Madison has been employed by the St. Lucie County School District for six years, always as TCHS band director. He did not immediately know if Madison had been employed by other school districts before coming to TCHS.

"We are saddened by these kind of reports," Lannon said. "Our thoughts go out to the alleged victims at this time.

"Obviously, the district will cooperate with the sheriff's department," Lannon added.

Janice Karst, the school district's director of communications, issued a statement Saturday that the investigation prohibits school officials from commenting.

The investigation is continuing.

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