Ocala principal accused of abusing student previously charged with molesting a child, per records

The principal at a private school in Florida who has been charged with aggravated child abuse and false imprisonment of a child had prior felony charges involving children, court records show.

Dontay Akeem Prophet, 33, principal at Destiny Leadership Academy (DLA) in Ocala, was arrested on May 11 after surveillance video from a classroom showed Prophet physically restraining a young boy. 

According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), security footage captured on May 10 showed Prophet grabbing the victim, restraining him on the ground between his legs, and employing a chokehold. Prophet could also be seen on camera using a charging cable to strike the child and slapping him in the face.

MCSO released about three minutes of the 40+ minute long security camera footage. They also released a body camera video of Prophet’s arrest.

"I don’t know if you know this or not, but there’s a security camera in that room," the arresting officer can be heard saying.

"There is?" questioned Prophet.

"Yeah… and it caught everything on camera," the officer responded. "Everything."


It’s not Prophet’s first time being charged with a felony relating to a child. Prophet was arrested in May 2019. Court records show he was accused of sexually molesting a child who he met while working as a camp counselor in 2017.

Prophet was charged with lewd and lascivious molestation of a child and attempting to commit interfering with child custody.

The case has been ongoing. In June 2023, documents state Prophet violated his probation. Then, in July, the case was closed. Records show the prosecutor dropped one of the charges, and the court withheld adjudication, meaning he wasn’t convicted.

But how did he become the principal at DLA? The school’s executive principal, Dr. Elvira Hagins, declined to answer FOX 35’s Hannah Mackenzie’s questions.

A letter given to FOX 35 by school leaders stated Prophet no longer works at DLA. DLA is a private school, but state law mandates that the Florida Department of Education (DOE) write its rules. We reached out to the DOE but have not yet heard back.

On Monday night, DLA held a closed meeting for parents. None of the attendees agreed to speak on camera. 

Prophet is being held at the Marion County jail on no bond. Court records show he also uses the name Dontay Akeem Lopez. His next court appearance is June 11, 2024.