JUPITER, Fla. (CBS12) — The arrest report is shedding light on a middle school teacher in jail facing sex crime charges relating to an incident with a minor.
The School District of Palm Beach County police department arrested 41-year-old Daniel Norment, from Independence Middle School in Jupiter, on Tuesday.
The incident happened two years ago, when the alleged victim was underage, and a complaint was just filed in March.
In the arrest report, a school district police officer wrote about getting a call from a Jupiter police sergeant, who said his department got a call from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. That call was about “a delayed sexual battery, occurring approx. two years ago." The allegations were made that [the victim] was coerced into having sex at the age of 16 years old while visiting Independence Middle School inside Heath Norment's classroom.
The incident occurred on school grounds inside Norment's classroom.
“The information gathered said that teacher Heath Norment had sex with [the victim]. The incident occurred on school grounds inside Norment's classroom.”
The phone calls were on March 11. Ten days later, the school district police officer spoke with the principal and three assistant principals. That was actually the principal’s second full day in her position.
Norment had been reprimanded for multiple ethical violations involving school children.
According to the arrest report, “All three APs were aware of some inappropriate non-criminal behavior by Norment while teaching at the school for the past couple of years. Norment had been reprimanded for multiple ethical violations involving school children. Norment would take students in the classroom closet and counsel them. This happened on numerous occasions and sometimes have involving one student or multiple.
“He also had a light-colored couch inside his classroom. Norment was asked several days in a row to remove the sofa from his room. Finally, some of the staff removed the item.
“Two years ago, Norment was coaching the girls’ basketball team. Halfway through the season the staff was notified, Norment was allowing the girls that played on his team to change their clothes inside his classroom after school hours. Norment never stayed inside the classroom. It was determined that he would stand outside until the girls changed into their school’s sports uniforms.
“It was also known on school campus that Norment had girls come to class after school to visit or help him with administrative paperwork. I was informed this occurred many times in the past and girl(s) were prior students. [One AP] informed me that many girls would walk through campus wearing inappropriate clothing. [That AP] stated that sometime last school year Norment was instructed to not have any youth visitors on campus even if after school hours.”
According to the school district police officer, “I was told that Norment had been reprimanded for all of these past actions by school administration. He was removed from teaching eighth grade and now teaches sixth grade. He was also removed as the girls’ basketball coach.”
On March 22, that school district police officer went to the school to speak with Norment.
“When Norment arrived in the conference room, I told him that the anonymous girl(s) were making different allegations involving him in his behavior,” he wrote. “Norment told me that he felt it was best to seek out an attorney's advice prior to speaking with me.”
Then, authorities were able to identify and eventually meet with [the victim].
“I first reached out to our anonymous caller by phone. During the conversation, [the victim] stated she was willing to give a taped statement if able to remain anonymous. [the victim] in the case of sexual battery was 15 or 16 at the time of the crime. [the victim] is 18 years old now and attends college for her freshman year.
“On April 1, 2022, I met with [the victim] in person to conduct a statement.” This is the synopsis:
[The victim] attended Independence Middle School 6th through 8th grade. While in the 8th grade, [the victim] was a student under Daniel Heath Norment. [The victim] was told by Norment that she was different and mature for her age. He also spoke to [the victim] during class and provided more attention to [the victim]. [The victim] felt Norment was just being nice to her by showing her a lot of attention during class. He would always talk to [the victim] and gave her good grades for doing nothing.
...and gave her good grades for doing nothing.
[The victim] stated Norment and her exchanged cell phone numbers prior to the end of the 8th grade school year. Once [the victim] began high school she stayed in touch with Norment. [The victim] would visit Norment after school in the classroom. She would assist with paperwork, clean the classroom and hang out and talk about anything. [The victim] said Norment over time became friendlier and would hug her while thanking her. While [the victim] was either in the 10th or 11th grade, Norment progressed in his affection toward [the victim]. He would hug, rub her back and shoulders, and pick her up and spin her around off her feet while kissing her on the cheek. [The victim] did not think anything about the affection and liked the attention. Norment began rubbing [the victim] in a passionate way (touching her breast and butt) over her clothing. Once this began [the victim] felt these actions were wrong but liked her favorite teacher. Norment would then give her kisses on the lips and stating he was ‘falling in love’ with her. [The victim] felt this was odd but again it was her favorite teacher.
...that day was different and Norment became more aggressive and passionate.
“During [the victim]’s end of 10th grade school year or the beginning of her 11th grade school year, she visited Norment in his classroom at IMS. [The victim] stated that day was different and Norment became more aggressive and passionate. Telling [the victim] again that he was in love with her as he kissed and touched her buttock and caressed her breasts. Norment took [the victim] by the hand and led/directed her into the classroom’s oversized closet. The closet had a small table and chairs in it. Once in the closet, Norment took off [the victim]'s clothing. [The victim] could not recall if her shirt and bra were off. [The victim] stated some of the incident she has blocked out and could not be sure if she gave Norment [Graphic description of the incident.] [The victim] said Norment then wiped the floor up with a rag. [The victim] then got dressed. Norment walked her out to the parking lot telling her he loved her again.
“[The victim] said approx. a week later she was at Jupiter High School when she was brought into an assistant principal’s office. She could not remember any of the staff's names but was asked about Norment and her relationship. This was during the same time Norment had been disciplined for conduct ethics at his school. [The victim] told me that she was embarrassed and told the staff nothing had ever occurred. She was instructed to not visit Norment at the school after or during school hours.
“[The victim] said she never told or spoke to anyone [about] what occurred with Norment. [The victim] told me that Norment used her and realized that it was wrong for her and him to have sex at his school. She stated she stopped talking to Norment to altogether and is never heard from him since the sexual battery. She has never reached out to Norment. When asked [the victim] Norment's age, she felt Norment was in his early 40s.
[The victim] stated she came forward due to this bothering her every day. She stated Norment should not be around youth and needed to report this even if anonymous. [The victim] expressed how she struggles with the incident and not sure if she will ever be able to resolve it in her mind.”
Norment is charged with two felonies: sexual activity with a minor and a sex offense against a student by an authority figure.
According to the school’s principal, Amber Saunders, Norment “was reassigned to a non-student contact position away from our school,” and that happened in March, according to a letter she sent to families.
Saunders added, Norment worked at Independence for approximately six years.
A judge set his bail at $50,000 for each of those counts and ordered Norment not to have contact with any minors or go to any School District of Palm Beach County properties.
Norment was booked at 5 p.m. Tuesday and he remains in jail.
Anybody with information is asked to call School District Police Dispatch at 561-434-8700.