Former SVSD Counselor Found Guilty of Sex with Minor in Florida

Carawan crop

A former Saucon Valley School District counselor who now lives in Florida was found guilty last week of unlawful sexual activity with a teenage boy who authorities say he met via the Grindr app.

Est. Read Time: 3 mins

A former Saucon Valley School District counselor who now lives in Florida was found guilty last week of unlawful sexual activity with a teenage boy who authorities say he met via the Grindr app, according to a story published by FOX4 Southwest Florida.

Russell Carawan

Former Saucon Valley School District employee Russell T. Carawan, 57, was found guilty of unlawful sexual activity with a minor in Florida on March 10. Before moving to Florida, Carawan worked for the Saucon Valley School District as a Mental Health Specialist and the head of a student mentorship program. He was later disciplined by a state education commission following allegations that he engaged in “boundary violations” with several Saucon Valley students. (FILE PHOTO)

Russell T. Carawan, 57, was charged with having sex with a minor and drug possession in Charlotte County, Fla., last June.

At the time, Florida news station ABC7 News reported that law enforcement officials allegedly found drugs–including methamphetamine and the prescription drugs Xanax and Alprazolam–in Carawan’s home in the 800 block of Silver Springs Terrace NW in Port Charlotte, Fla.

The TV news station also reported that Carawan had allegedly offered narotics to the minor with whom he was charged with having sex.

Carawan’s nine years of employment with the Saucon Valley School District ended in September 2015, but he was later disciplined by a state education commission which had reviewed charges involving alleged “boundary violations” with students brought against him by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

According to state disciplinary records, in early 2018 he voluntarily surrendered his educator certification and employment eligibility to serve as a charter or cyber charter school staff member or a contracted educational provider staff member in Pennsylvania under an order from the state’s Professional Standards and Practices Commission (PSPC).

In a memorandum which accompanied that order, it was stated that in July 2017 the Pennsylvania Department of Education filed a Notice of Charges against Carawan “alleging that he engaged in boundary violations with several female students while employed as a counselor with Saucon Valley School District.”

The nature of those alleged boundary violations has not been disclosed, and Carawan was never criminally charged in connection with them.

According to the PSPC order and memorandum, before he surrendered it, Carawan held an Educational Specialist I Pennsylvania certificate in the areas of Elementary School Counselor K-6 and Secondary School Counselor 7-12.

According to a still-active LinkedIn profile, at the time of his arrest last year Carawan was employed as a Director of Social Services at a southwest Florida hospital, and had previously worked as a therapist in Port Charlotte from 2016 to 2018. Under that entry in his job history, Carawan said he worked “with teens and adolescent population and their families to achieve successful achievement of life and social goals” and called the behavioral health practice that employed him at the time the “best employer ever.”

While employed as a Mental Health Treatment Specialist at Saucon Valley from 2006 to 2015, Carawan wrote that he worked “with those students who are most at risk of academic and social failure due to emotional and/or behavioral issues.”

FOX4 reported that in addition to two counts of felony unlawful sexual activity with a minor, Carawan was also found guilty March 10 of two felony counts of possession of a controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia, for which he was sentenced to seven years in prison to be followed by seven years of sex offender probation.



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About the author

Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is the owner, publisher and editor of Saucon Source. A Lehigh Valley native, he's covered local news since 2005 and previously worked for Berks-Mont News and AOL/Patch. Contact him at josh@sauconsource.com.

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