Ex-football player charged with murder was mentor

OLD TOWN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Former U-Maine football player charged with the murder of one man and the stabbing of an ex-girlfriend was working as a mentor for a local elementary school at the time of his arrest. The RSU 34 school board met last month to discuss how Zedric Joseph passed the screening to take part in the Black Bear Mentoring Program through the University of Maine.

During a recorded June 18th meeting, the director of the Black Bears mentoring program, Lisa Morin, presented to the board members. In the video recording, Morin explains the importance of the program along with the background checks and interviews each mentor applicant must go through to join the program.

One board member wanted more information, "Your explanation does not explain the elephant in our elementary school. I don't know how to get to that comfortably, how to get to that answer of how that happened."

In March, Zedric Joseph was arrested in connection to a fatal stabbing in Florida.Since then court documents show there were allegations he physically assaulted his then girlfriend back in December of 2012.

In a NEWS CENTER story which aired on Tuesday documents provided by the University of Maine seem to show what actions the university took in regards to the allegations. Although the domestic assault charges were dropped by the Penobscot District Attorney's office, UMaine conducted their own investigation.

According to the documents, it seems in regards to Joseph's case the university found him responsible of physical assault and in violation of the stalking and relationship abuse policy.

These documents do not name the accused, but given the timeframe of when the case was brought to the office and the accusations it can be determined that this is the investigation into Zedric Joseph.

During the meeting Morin stated Joseph went through a national background check and nothing came up against him.

According to the University of Maine to be eligible to be a mentor in the program, students who volunteer must submit an application, participate in a personal interview, and undergo a national criminal background check, sex offender registry check and reference check.

During the June school board meeting one board member questioned why the 2012 allegations or university findings including disciplinary probation was not mentioned during the reference check.

All campus investigations are considered confidential.

Zedric Joseph appears to have done his job well as a mentor. Due to privacy issues specifics of Joseph or the student he mentored could not be discussed specifically.

The school board did motion to review their policies on volunteers to see if changes need to be made so this sort of situation does not happen again.

According to the University, if a student was found responsible of violating the stalking and relationship abuse policy they would not be allowed to participate in the program.


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