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Winter Haven High School athletic director, Steven Beasley, arrested in sex battery cases

Posted at 3:41 PM, Aug 15, 2013
and last updated 2015-07-16 16:10:23-04

The athletic director of Winter Haven High School was arrested and is now facing charges of sexual battery and attempted sexual battery.

Steven Beasley, 51, of Winter Haven, is the accused.

According to an arrest affidavit, the incidents took place on July 27 while Beasley and a group of acquaintances were swimming in Lake Howard.  The first alleged victim, who works for Beasley, said he swam over to her several times and each time became more "friendly."

In a sworn statement, the woman claimed he put his hand down the front of her bathing suit bottom and touched her privates.  She said this occurred three times and each time she pushed Beasley away and told him to stop.

When told to stop, Beasley reportedly told the woman "it's ok," according to the arrest report.

The woman told police she did not give Beasley permission to touch her privates, that they were alone when the incident occurred and that although she had consumed alcohol she was in control of her faculties.

On the same day, another woman, who happens to be Beasley's acquaintance, claims Beasley did the same thing to her.

In a sworn statement, this woman told police she was unable to locate the boat she came to the flotilla on.  She claims she found Beasley and asked him to help her find the boat.  According to the woman, while on the defendant's back piggyback style, he waded through the water to her boat.  While traveling to the boat, the woman told police she somehow ended up in front of Beasley, but doesn't know how it happened.

The arrest affidavit states Beasley put his hand down between the woman's legs, put his hand inside her bathing suit and sexually assaulted her.

The woman told police she did not give Beasley permission to touch her.

The woman reportedly told Beasley, "stop, you have a wife."  The arrest affidavit states that Beasley replied that his wife was "into threesomes" and "into this."

According to officers, the woman was able to push herself away from Beasley, swam to her boat, got her cell phone and swam back to her friends.

The woman said she had consumed alcohol that day but was in control of her faculties, knew who she was, where she was and who she was with, police report.

Following the criminal complaints, officers say Beasley, who has been the athletic director at Winter Haven High School for the past six years, willingly came to the police department on his own for an interview.

Beasley denied the allegations, police said.  He also said when he took the second woman back to her boat she appeared highly intoxicated and handed her off to a volleyball coach at Winter Haven High School. The coach reportedly told police he saw Beasley giving the second woman a piggyback ride and that twice the woman had somehow become face-to-face with Beasley. The second woman was also intoxicated, according to this coach.

"It is quite disturbing when you have someone in a position of authority and someone who is overseeing the athletic programs at the high school, is a teacher involved in being around kids day in and day out," said Chief Gary Hester with the Winter Haven PD.  "It is concerning."

Beasley admitted to police he had an open marriage.

Police say they were unable to locate any independent witnesses to the reported offenses but were not able to find any motives for these women to make up these allegations.

Polk County School District officials released a statement saying Beasley is now on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.  He was hired in 1990.

ABC Action News spoke to Debbie Beasley via phone Thursday night.  Both declined comment.

Beasley will go before a judge Friday morning.

Meanwhile, news of the arrest is spreading throughout the campus.

Albert Reynolds, whose son is a freshman and a football player, was not happy about the allegations.

"There are some sick people in this world," said Reynolds.  "These are the people who are teaching our kids."