Central Florida teachers, coaches arrested consistently for inappropriate relationships
Teacher or coach arrested once a month in 2014 on student relationship accusations
A teacher or coach was arrested once a month in Central Florida in 2014 for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a student.
Duane Adams was one of them.
"I fell in love with her," Adams told Local 6's Louis Bolden.
Adams retired from the U.S. Army after 20 years, then spent 12 years as a teacher.
At Francis Marion Military Academy, Adams also coached the schools Orienteering Team to victories.
It's where he began a three-month sexual relationship with a student he taught and coached last year.
She was 15. He was 55.
"This is something that I should not have allowed to happen, and I allowed it to happen," Adams said.
Adams is by no means the only one. Last year in Central Florida, at least once a month a teacher or coach was arrested for having an inappropriate relationship with a student.
In an interview with Ocala police, Adams admitted he had sex with the 15-year-old multiple times at his apartment.
Adams was convicted of four counts of sexual battery. In December, Circuit Judge Jonathan Ohlman sentenced him to 80 years in prison.
"All I was trying to do was follow the law as I understood it," Ohlman said.
Florida law is clear, each sexual battery is a separate crime and sentences shall run consecutively.
But even with strict laws as a deterrent, why does it continue to happen?
Carol Wick, who is a licensed marriage and family therapist says she knows why.
"Specifically with people who want to abuse children, they will find jobs where they will have a lot of access to kids," Wick said.
Wick is known for her work with Harbor House, a shelter for victims of domestic violence, but her background is in child sex abuse.
She says the grooming often starts with special attention in the classroom and at practices.
"If all the other kids aren't getting it and your kid is getting it, that's a problem," Wick said.
Adams admits it was a process.
First meeting after practice, then rides home and then gifts. Eventually he was picking the 15-year-old up and bringing her to his apartment in the middle of the night, he said.
"I was in love with her and I courted her pretty strongly at that point," Adams said.
"And that's how they do this over time," Wick said.
"Its not like they grab the child and they rape them, that's not what happens. They ingratiate the child," she said.
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