A 33-year-old youth softball coach from Auburndale is facing charges of having sex with a minor.
The 33-year-old was taken into custody Friday after authorities talked to the 17-year-old girl. According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the Lakeland girl told authorities she had consensual sex with the man in early February.
According to authorities, the man and the girl knew each other for several years, and the man lived with her family for a period of time in the past. The girl is to turn 18 years old in a couple of weeks.
The man works part-time as an assistant softball coach at a Polk County high school.
The man also was a coach for the teen’s travel softball team.
Authorities claim the two attended the Monster Jam event in Tampa on Feb. 3 with two other friends. After the event, the group drove back to Bartow, dropped off the friends and drove back to Lakeland.
On the way, the man allegedly pulled over his vehicle near State Road 60 and Highway 37 in Mulberry, where the two had consensual sex.
The man has been charged with unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
The man has been placed on administrative leave. A recommendation to terminate him will go before the School Board later this month.
If you have been arrested for alleged unlawful sexual activity with a minor, it is in your best interest to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. A conviction for this crime could result in a significant fine, up to 15 years in prison and mandatory registration as a sex offender.
Following an arrest for a sex crime, you should exercise your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and avoid answering any questions that could be used against you in court. Regardless of your innocence, you should not say anything to authorities until you have contacted our Polk County Criminal Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton. We can make sure your rights are protected and comb through all the evidence against you to establish the best defense strategy for you.