Winter Haven police look for victims after finding child porn in former coach's condo

Winter Haven police are searching for possible victims of a former high school coach who was found to have child porn in his home after his apparent suicide.

Police Chief Gary Hester said he wants to ensure victims get help.

"It's not uncommon in those cases that they groom children over a period of time and condition them for the abuse," he said.

Investigators also want to know whether other adults may have known about the coach’s inappropriate actions and failed to report them.

Winter Haven High School parent Louie Nagy trusts the people he leaves his son with on the campus. So it came as a shock when he learned police discovered hundreds of images of child pornography at the home of former assistant football coach Thomas LeJeune earlier this year.

"You do your best to protect your children as they grow up and to hear about people like that. It's horrible," Nagy said.

LeJeune first appeared on investigators’ radar during an investigation into his embezzlement of more than $20,000 from the school’s booster club fund during a three-year period. They were close to pressing charges when LeJeune was found dead from an apparent suicide.

Only then did police uncover a far more disturbing crime: More than a thousand pictures of child pornography in his Polk County condominium. Police also said LeJeune secretly taped Winter Haven football players in a beach house bathroom.

Hester said none of the teens were involved in sexual acts.

So far Hester said no victims have come forward, but he believes they're out there.

Victims may not want to come forward because they no longer see LeJeune as a threat, he said, but there could be more people involved.

"There could be some other folks out there that had knowledge of this, may have even participated or contributed to their victimization,” he said. “If that's the case, we certainly want to hold them folks accountable."

The school district confirmed Tuesday it is conducting its own investigation into the matter, though officials have not said when they expect to finish or if they're focusing any part of that investigation on other adults in the school system.
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