Multiple people have claimed that a former Rhode Island school official facing assault charges for forcibly giving a foot massage also targeted them at a gym, WPRI reported Thursday.
Olayinka Alege, 40, was arrested in May and charged with simple assault after he allegedly approached a minor at a local gym, asked him about his workout shoes, and then proceeded to take the minor’s shoe off without asking for permission, police said, according to WPRI.
Alege allegedly grabbed the underaged male’s heel and took off his sock off as the victim tried to pull his foot away.
“Alege later dropped the sock and began to massage the juvenile male’s foot for approximately thirty to forty seconds. The juvenile male tried to pull his foot away, but the male would not let his foot go,” investigators reportedly said in a sworn affidavit. After the victim said he removed his foot, he alleged that Alege “smiled and winked” at him while he was working out on a machine, according to WPRI. (RELATED: Sixth-Grade Teacher Arrested At School For Allegedly Possessing Child Pornography)
“Alege denied rubbing the victim’s bare foot but did acknowledge touching it,” police wrote, according to WPRI. “Alege estimated it was just a second that he actually touched the victim’s bare foot and denies rubbing it for a prolonged period.”
Alege pleaded not guilty to simple assault and battery charges against a juvenile.
Former Providence Network Superintendent of Secondary Schools Olayinka Alege (left) leaving the court house today after entering a “not guilty” plea to simple assault and battery charges against a juvenile. More on @NBC10 at noon. pic.twitter.com/0g5Zyk1SZH
— Christina Vitale (@CVitale_TV) May 13, 2021
Alege was the network superintendent of secondary schools at Providence Public Schools but resigned following the allegations. After reading the report about Alege’s arrest earlier in May, two more people came forward and claimed Alege allegedly also gave them unwanted foot massages, WPRI reported Thursday.
The two unidentified victims declined to press charges, and described incidents similar to that of the underaged male who Alege allegedly approached.
“Alege bent down and took one of [the male’s] feet and put it on his knee,” one victim told the Warwick Police Department, according to WPRI. “Alege then removed [the] shoe which [the male] did find strange.”
Alege then allegedly “began touching and rubbing” his feet. Another victim told police that Alege also gave him an unwanted foot massage, asked for his phone number, and later since “weird” and “creepy” text message to him.
More than a decade before the simple assault charges, five boys alleged that Alege had also touched their feet. The Sun Sentinel reported in 2009 that Alege, an assistant principal at the time at a Tampa school, had “popped” five boys’ toes as a form of punishment on numerous occasions.
Providence Public Schools by Superintendent Harrison Peters hired Alege in 2020 after working at the same Florida school district, according to WPRI. Peters reportedly said he was aware of the allegations before hiring Alege and was satisfied with Alege’s responses when he confronted him about them.
“I’ve worked incredibly hard to make trust the center of everything we do and I just feel strongly that our trust has been betrayed,” Peters said, according to WPRI.
#NEW: The Providence Senate delegation is asking the chairman of the Rules, Government Ethics and Oversight Committee to investigate the vetting process and hiring of Olayinka Alege, who resigned amid accusation of forcefully rubbing a boy’s foot at a gym. https://t.co/XYLZdWpBqD
— NBC 10 WJAR (@NBC10) May 13, 2021
Multiple city and state leaders have reportedly called on Peters to resign over the alleged incidents, according to WPRI.