I-Team: Zephyrhills High School coach arrested was previously warned about student contact

Posted at 6:27 PM, Apr 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-24 18:29:45-04

Parents of students at Zephyrhills High School are reacting after learning deputies arrested Samuel Walker who is the head coach of the girls JV Basketball team and also the schools "Student Discipline Instructional Assistant.".

"This is horrible..horrible," said one parent.

"It's ughhh very despicable, disgusting," said another.

Walker is accused of unlawful sexual activity with a 17-year-old female student.

The I-Team first told you about the investigation last week.

RELATED: Criminal investigation of two employees underway at Zephyrhills High School

And now, another disturbing detail has been revealed...a letter in Walker's file shows the school warned him multiple times about unprofessional student contact in the past.

In this letter of reprimand dated this past March, the school principal stated Walker admitted to knowing a female student left campus for lunch and brought lunch back to him.

There was also a reference to him texting and making phone calls to the student. Some of the text conversations were happening as late as 9 o'clock at night, and on weekends, and even during the student's class time.

One line from the principal said, "I am particularly concerned because we have already met regarding unprofessional student contact in the past."

The principal also wrote that she warned Walker to stay away from the student.

The I-Team also confirmed Walker had 6 outstanding warrants out of Hillsborough County for Sexual Battery on a Juvenile.

Hillsborough deputies confirmed all 6 offenses involve the same 17-year-old girl from this recent arrest. 

Deputies told us between February and April, the sex offenses happened in a motel room, the suspect's car, and on the roadside.

Parents we spoke with said they were never notified about this until after our report aired last week.

"I wish they would inform us more when things like this happen," said one frustrated parent.

Some parents we spoke with said the school was trying to sweep this under the rug.

"Yeah I think so and I totally agree with them," a parent of a student told us.

Another parent told us, "I think it's a little bit ridiculous. I think they should have done more investigating to the staff that works here."

Pasco School District officials said they first learned about the incident April 18 and placed Walker on paid administrative leave that day.

Parents weren't officially notified until a blast message to parents went out after our report on Friday, April 21.

According to the Pasco Sheriff's Office, the other school employee, we also initially reported on, is still under investigation.


Jarrod Holbrook is an Emmy and AP Award-winning Investigative Reporter for the ABC Action News I-Team.

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