Photographer hired at Buckeye school accused of touching girl inappropriately

Allegations have surfaced that a photographer was taking student pictures at Buckeye’s Freedom Elementary School when he inappropriately touched a girl.
Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 2:30 PM MST
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BUCKEYE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — An investigation is underway after allegations surfaced of a photographer inappropriately touching a girl at Freedom Elementary School in Buckeye. Buckeye police said in a statement that the investigation started on Sept. 2 after detectives were notified of the claims against the photographer hired to take student pictures.

Donna Bradley’s granddaughter is a sixth grader at Freedom Elementary. Last month on school picture day, Bradley’s granddaughter said another girl at her school was reportedly touched inappropriately by a photographer. “She said that the girl called her mom right away and was kind of traumatized,” said Bradley. The girl’s mother reported the incident.

In a letter to parents, the Liberty Elementary School District said they immediately contacted Buckeye police after the report. The district says they have canceled a previously scheduled “retake day” with the photographer and has put an indefinite hold on all upcoming shoots with the company that employed the contractor.

Luke Garrison with the Liberty School District says the photographer has been hired by the school and is required to take a background screening, and his record was clean. “We have a kiosk right here actually for anyone who steps on our campus has to scan their driver’s license and so that does a quick background check,” he explained. “If there’s any red flags you’re not on campus. That wasn’t the case with this individual.”

Garrison added a student and photographer would never be left alone together. “We did have three teachers inside of the area where the photos were being taken at that time there were also other photographers,” he said.

The three teachers and other students were interviewed, and Garrison says no other victims have come forward. Police say the investigation is in the early stages, and no arrests have been made. The photographer and the employer have not been identified.