Zephyrhills coach arrested for unlawful sexual activity with student

ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. (WFLA) — A basketball coach from Zephyrhills High School has been put on administrative leave after being arrested for unlawful sexual activity with a 17-year-old student.

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office says 39-year-old Samuel Walker is an instructional assistant and head coach for the girls’ junior varsity basketball team.

Investigators say the acts allegedly happened between February 1 and April 17 of 2017.

Superintendent Kurt Browning confirms Walker has been put on administrative leave.

“It is heartbreaking to see one of our employees arrested for a sexual crime involving one of our students,” Browning said. “Student safety is the district’s top priority. The alleged behavior does not reflect the qualities instilled in our employees and it will not be tolerated. I applaud Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee, Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco, and their deputies’ swift ability to hold criminals accountable. Our community can rest assured that our district will handle this situation appropriately at the proper time, in accordance with state law and school board policy.”

The superintendent says Walker was hired in August of 2016. The school board will address his employment status once the investigation has concluded.

In addition to a warrant out of Pasco jurisdiction, Walker has been charged with six counts of sexual offenses against a student by an authority figure.

He remains in the Pasco County jail on a $20,000 bond.

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