LCSO searching for more victims of coach accused of sending nude pics

Writer: Sommer Senne
Published: Updated:

Deputies in Southwest Florida are looking for potential victims of a coach accused of sending naked pictures to a teenage girl.

The father who brought the story to WINK News, says he decided not to press charges, but the Lee County Sheriff’s Office believes there are more victims at Gateway High School.

Deputies don’t know how many victims there are in this particular case, but they’re asking if anyone has information to contact their Special Victims Unit.

The sheriff’s office also can’t confirm the evidence they have because they are still asking additional victims to come forward.

The track and field coach at Gateway High School was allegedly sending nude pictures to an athlete over Instagram.

“He’s been accused at this juncture. It’s not been proven. It’s an allegation,” said Mitch Teitelbaum, an education attorney with Windsor Law.

The Lee County School District released a statement saying in part, “We do not tolerate the alleged behavior, and the former coach is no longer an employee of the school district.”

“To be a coach, you have to have a certificate. Certificates are run through the Florida Department of Education,” said Teitelbaum. “From there, they conduct an investigation and ultimately can take action through an administrative complaint.”

Which could lead to a suspension, fines or losing a license for violating the Florida Educator’s Principles of Professional Conduct.

“Sending photos of yourself would be deemed sending pornographic materials to a minor,” said Teitelbaum.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office released a statement saying in part, “They received the allegations and detectives immediately investigated. The victims have requested to no longer pursue protection in this case.”

“Once DCF opens a case, law enforcement also has an open case. They both had to be closed for that employee to potentially return to work,” said Teitelbaum.

Based on the case, Teitelbaum told WINK News, parents could file a criminal or civil lawsuit.

“If this has created emotional stress, and these children have been traumatized by this event, and sought medical treatment, it could lead to a viable action,” said Teitelbaum.

Teitelbaum said even if the parents choose not to file civil or criminal charges, the case will still go to the Florida Department of Education for review.

WINK News reached out to the Department of Children and Families and the Florida Department of Education but has yet to hear back.

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