HAINES CITY, Fla .– A Florida high school teacher has been accused of having sex with a student on multiple occasions, including in a classroom closet, authorities have said.
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Wayne McKenzie Ricks II, 29, was arrested Tuesday by Osceola County authorities and charged with 10 counts of sexual assault on a student aged 12 to 18, Haines City police said on Wednesday . He was held in the Osceola County Jail, according to online records.
Ricks, who stepped down as a teacher on Saturday, was an outstanding student education (ESE) teacher and junior college basketball coach at Haines City High School, The ledger from Lakeland reported.
Ricks began his career at Polk County Public Schools on August 31, the newspaper reported.
Haines City Police Department investigators said Ricks and the student have engaged in sexual activity on several occasions since the start of the school year last year. Ricks and the victim would meet in his classroom when he was alone, and they would have sex in a closet, WTVT reported.
According to a police report, a friend of the victim who was in the classroom said the two entered the closet “about 10 times” to have sex and also allegedly had sex inside the closet. Ricks vehicle.
The investigation was opened after a family member of the victim learned of the relationship and reported it, according to WFLA.
“This grooming case reminds parents to be vigilant about the identity of their children,” Haines Town Police Chief Jim Elensky told reporters.
“Ricks would text the victim during school hours to come to her classroom and allow the victim to leave the classroom,” the police report said. “Ricks and the victim also spent time together off campus dating back to at least October. Throughout the investigation, detectives were able to obtain video of what appeared to be Ricks and the victim kissing inside the classroom.
Police said detectives also obtained video of what appeared to be Ricks and the student together at Universal Studios in October, and they were also seen during a youth basketball game at Sebring early January “, The ledger reported.
Ricks also reportedly contacted the student via text and social media, made more than 80 phone calls between December and January and wrote 20 handwritten notes detailing their relationship, the newspaper reported. The notes were signed by Ricks under a pseudonym.
Police say Ricks also gave the victim shoes, clothing and exercise equipment.
Ricks had no prior disciplinary action on his school record, the TV station reported.
“We appreciate the hard work of our detectives and the cooperation we received from Haines Town High School, Polk County Schools and the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office throughout the investigation,” said said Elensky. “We will work diligently to ensure this predator is held accountable. “
Cox Media Group