Crimes investigated by the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office rose overall in 2016 compared to the year before.
FORT PIERCE — A former middle school substitute teacher and Fort Pierce Central High School football coach who was charged with having sex with a student faces more charges Tuesday.
Freedom Whitfield, 24, of the 2800 block of Avenue B, was charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation, lewd or lascivious battery and lascivious conduct.
Whitfield, who was arrested in late November and charged with lewd and lascivious behavior, was accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl.
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The girl was staying at her grandparents’ house when Whitfield picked her up, according to his arrest affidavit. He said didn’t feel well, so they went to his mother’s home, where police later found them.
The girl’s mother showed up at the home and called police.
Police arrested Whitfield and took him to the department for questioning. After searching Whitfield’s phone, police found a photo of the girl in her underwear, according to the report.
More: Tequesta man charged with sexual battery on a minor in St. Lucie County
Though Whitfield initially denied having sex with the girl, when police said they would confirm he did using DNA evidence, Whitfield admitted to it. He said he’d had sex with her numerous times, according to the report.
Whitfield is a former substitute teacher at Dan McCarty Middle School and was a coach at Fort Pierce Central High School. He was fired from all positions after his arrest, school district spokeswoman Kerry Padrick said.
More: Accusations of sex with 16-year-old lead to Martin County man’s arrest
Whitfield turned himself in to the St. Lucie County Jail on Tuesday and was released as he was already out on a $30,000 bail for his previous arrest.
Bohatch is a breaking news reporter at TCPalm. Contact Bohatch at or firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @emilybohatch
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