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Orange County Sunday school teacher sexually abused child, deputies say

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — An Orange County Sunday school teacher faces charges of sexual battery on a child under 12 years old, deputies said.

John Maxwell Ware, 53, who works at First Baptist Church of Pine Castle, was arrested Tuesday, deputies said.

Investigators were notified Monday that Ware abused the child Saturday at a fall festival at the church at 1001 Hoffner Ave. in Orlando.

The child said the child's legs were tired from setting up for the festival, so Ware asked the child to sit in his car, investigators said.

Ware began driving to the back parking area and tickling the child on the upper thighs and sexually battered the child, investigators said. The child told Ware to stop, but he kept going, investigators said.

Ware denied the sexual battery to the child’s parent and investigators, deputies said.

Ware later admitted it’s possible he may have touched the child.

“It’s possible because the child was squirming (during tickling), but it wasn’t on purpose,” Ware told the parent.

Ware is being held without bail at the Orange County Jail.

It's unclear if there are more victims, but investigators urge anyone who may have been a victim to come forward.

Ware was arrested in 1997 and pleaded guilty to prostitution or lewdness, according to court documents.

Eyewitness News reached out to the church's pastor, but we have not yet received a comment.

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