Police: Two more victims say former Providence school official gave them unwanted foot rubs

Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Two more people have come forward claiming a former Providence school official approached them at a Warwick gym and forcibly rubbed their feet.

The unidentified victims declined to press charges following the incident, according to a police report, but said they too were subject to an unwanted foot massage from Dr. Olayinka Alege. They came forward after seeing a news report that he had been charged for a similar allegation.

The initial claim against Alege, 40, led to his arrest and resignation from the city schools. He pleaded not guilty to a charge of simple assault in court last week and was released on personal recognizance.

According to two Warwick Police Department incident reports, the two males said they were working out at Edge Fitness when Alege asked about their sneakers. One victim said that “Alege bent down and took one of [the male’s] feet and put it on his knee,” the report states. “Alege then removed [the] shoe which [the male] did find strange.”

The report went on to say Alege removed the victim’s sock “and began touching and rubbing” his feet.

The victim told police he did not want to press charges but, “would like the incident documened due to the fact that this has happened to multiple people at the gym.”

In another incident, a male said Alege removed the victim’s shoe and rubbed his heal. The male said Alege asked for his phone number and later sent text messages that were “weird” and “creepy.”

Target 12 previously reported that in 2009, when Alege was an assistant principal at a school in Tampa, Florida, he was accused by five boys of popping, or cracking, their toes as a form of punishment. Alege was never criminally charged nor disciplined for those alleged incidents.

Alege was hired last year as the network superintendent for the Providence Public Schools by Superintendent Harrison Peters.

Peters, who worked with Alege in Florida, acknowledged during a Senate oversight hearing Monday that he knew about the allegations before hiring Alege, but did not notify the hiring committee or the state education commissioner. He said he confronted Alege about them and was satisfied with his response and the references he received from Florida, where no charges were filed in the toe-popping incident.

Multiple city and state leaders, including R.I. Department of Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green, have asked for Peters to resign. As of Thursday morning, Peters had not resigned or responded to requests for comment.

Peters also did not show up to Wednesday night’s Providence School Board meeting, where he was scheduled to have a performance review. The board concluded their meeting by unanimously voting “no confidence” in Peter’s leadership.

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Providence

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