Farwell Former School Janitor Accused Of Accosting Children

A former youth wrestling coach and custodian finds himself in hot water, now facing several serious charges.

He is accused of committing sex crimes against children while working in Northern Michigan.

The Clare County prosecutor says Donovan Cantu was a janitor at Farwell Area Schools and a former youth coach for a private wrestling program last year.

Both the school and wrestling program let him go simultaneously as accusations arose.

“The individual worked here as a custodian and he no longer works here at this time,” says Tom House, Farwell Schools interim superintendent.

Clare County prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis charged former Farwell janitor Donovan Cantu with four crimes, allegedly occurring during the last two years of his tenure at Farwell area schools.

“The date range is from February of 2015 until December of 2016,” Ambrozaitis says. “They are punishable by up to 4 years, does require sex offender registration, if convicted.”

She says there are two counts, each, of trying to accost children for immoral purposes and using a computer to do so.

“You are talking about things that people are doing to reach out to kids,” Ambrozaitis says. “They are trading pictures with children, enticing the children to trade pictures back.”

The interim superintendent says when issues arose with Cantu last year, the administration worked quickly to address them as fast as possible.

“Anytime you deal with students, it’s important, when incidents happen, they get addressed quickly, effectively and appropriately,” House says.

Cantu also was fired from his position as coach for the Farwell Youth Wrestling Club, a private organization independent from the school district.

“Number one, he wasn’t allowed on school property and we do practice under the roof of the Farwell Area Schools,” says Dottie Brugger, the NEMWA secretary for the wrestling club. “It was just easier to say you know what, for the best interest of the youth and the parents who might be concerned, he’s done with the Farwell Youth Wrestling program.”

Cantu will be back in court on November 9th.

“I think it’s really important that parents are very aware of what their kids are doing online with their phones, who they are communicating with, because this is how predators get into their kids,” Ambrozaitis says.