|Warner Christian Academy, south Daytona Beach, Florida|
Matthew Graziotti, who had refused to speak with investigators, was a skilled sexual predator who used his position as a schoolteacher, summer camp director and church volunteer to get close to children, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Gable, who prosecuted the 43-year-old.
Graziotti was given a hefty prison sentence by U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton Jr. on Jan. 26 before a courtroom packed with angry adults, including Graziotti’s former wife who sent up the first red flags about Graziotti.
McCardel said he was not aware of anything, but less than a week later, he contacted Blazi about information from Jenny Graziotti, who was in the process of separating from Matthew Graziotti.
McCardel also said he asked Matthew Graziotti to leave the church because his contact with a juvenile “went beyond the normal parameters established for mentors,” according to the report.
From 2002 to 2004, Jenny Graziotti made a list of behavior between her then-husband and children that concerned her. In a note written July 22, 2003, she said “[Redacted] came to spend the night. I went to bed and Matt was on the couch watching T.V. with all the lights off. Something kept telling me to get out of bed. So I did and Matt was lying in bed with [redacted] (both of them were in their [redacted] rubbing [redacted] belly.”
When Blazi spoke with Little again, she said the Department of Children & Families had refused to take a report because of a lack of information, according to a report. Blazi contacted Steve Hoinaki, a supervisor of investigations at DCF, who said “the children alleged to be involved were in no immediate danger” since Matthew Graziotti was no longer working as a youth minister and no longer was a mentor at Edgewater Public School. A report was taken after Blazi provided the new information from McCardel.
As Edgewater police investigated the allegations, they encountered children who appeared uncomfortable when asked questions about Graziotti, but they did not disclose any inappropriate behavior on his part. Most parents also refused to allow a forensic interviewer at the Children’s Advocacy Center to talk to their children, the report shows.
Graziotti initially agreed to speak with detectives but then hired Armistead W. Ellis as his lawyer and refused to be interviewed by police or submit to a voice stress test. Ellis hired his own polygraph examiner who found Graziotti was not deceptive.
Ellis sent a letter on June 28, 2004, to police saying that Graziotti had been falsely accused of “having improper and inappropriate contact with minor children in his care” due to his pending divorce. The letter said Graziotti was “a decent Christian man, who devoted his life to working with children.” No, he was an indecent, un-Christian man who devoted his life to preying on children instead of praying for them.
|Warner Christian Academy|
“… I was unable to make a determination that this case was either founded, or unfounded in regards to criminal fact finding,” Blazi wrote. “I was also unable to eliminate Matthew Graziotti as a potential suspect.”
Blazi also wrote: “There are still unanswered questions in this case due to the lack of cooperation on the part of the parents of the involved juveniles, to have forensic child interviews conducted.”
That would not be the case in 2014 when the FBI searched Graziotti’s home and found on his computer a folder titled “personally known” with 41 sub-folders with boys’ names. A forensic examiner found a folder with 8,761 images, many of which depicted the “sexual abuse and exploitation of prepubescent males,” according to the criminal complaint against Graziotti.
Graziotti sexually abused 29 children under the age of 12 with some as young as 6, prosecutor Gable said at his sentencing. Yet there were 41 sub-folders in his "personally known" file. One would think there should be 41 victims. But then, sometimes I'm just too logical.
Graziotti is serving his sentence at the United States Penitentiary in Tucson, Arizona.