Police: Church school worker tries to kiss girl, buys her gifts

OCALA, Fla. — A 67-year-old administrative assistant at Shiloh S.D.A. Church School tried to kiss a 12-year-old student, the Ocala Police Department said.

Police said Murray Ramnarine, a former principal at the Seventh-Day Adventist school, told the girl he wants to marry her once she turns 18 and he bought her gifts, including an iPhone. He told police that he was only joking.

Investigators said the girl's grandmother reported the incidents to police after finding out about them. They said Ramnarine was a family friend.

"Buying her gifts and making advancements and talking about sexual misconduct and kissing her and marrying her -- that's way out of line," Ocala police Capt. Greg Martin said. "That's way out of line, and those are the types of things that cannot happen in our school system."

A church member told Channel 9 that Ramnarine is a church elder.

School officials said Ramnarine has been placed on paid administrative leave.

They said he has worked at the school for more than 24 years and has had no previous disciplinary issues.

Ramnarine was arrested on charges of lewd or lascivious conduct and sexual offenses against a student by an authority figure.

"Our No. 1 job is to make sure nobody else is victimized at the school," Martin said.

Anyone with information about other possible victims is asked to call Ocala police at 352-369-7000.