A Florida cheer coach wound up behind bars after he was accused of carrying on an improper relationship for several years with a girl enrolled at his facility, officials said.
Raul Albites, a 39-year-old former cheer coach at Broward Elite All Stars gym in Davie, turned himself in to police on April 19 and is accused of luring the now-teenage girl some time after she started training with him at age 11, The Miami Herald reported.
The coach’s alleged actions were reported to police after the child’s mother caught the two “embracing and kissing” behind the gym and she found multiple text messages from him on her daughter’s phone, states a detention order obtained by the newspaper.
According to the order, “Initially, Defendant and the minor victim had a ‘father-daughter’ relationship, but the relationship subsequently progressed into inappropriate texting and FaceTiming on an almost daily basis.”
The detention order states Albites told the girl he was in love with her and “that he would leave his wife when the minor victim turned 18 so they could get married.”
“I want to be your BF ... I see you as my girl ... I [expletive] tell you how I feel regardless of consequences . . . I have everything to lose to be with you ... Yes I can’t go out and hang out with you ... Yes I can’t tell your parents or take you out or properly tell anyone ... I sleep and dream of you . . . and I am committed to what we are doing,” Albites allegedly texted the girl, according to the order.
The detention order states the girl claimed to authorities that Albites sent her a photo of his penis, touched her inappropriately and molested her.
Albites faces a federal charge of enticement of a minor, and he could be sentenced to a minimum of 10 years to a maximum of life behind bars if found guilty.
One of Albites’ former cheerleaders, Nikki Hearn, told WFOR-TV she quit cheer because of the coach, noting, “There was just something about him that, mm-mm, don’t like this man, not for me.”
“You don’t want to believe someone that you know can just hurt somebody that way, especially a child,” she said. “I’m sure there are more kids out there who were victims to him."
Broward Elite All Stars gym, the facility where Albites coached, has since closed down.
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