Florida Coach Accused Of Sex Crime Against Minor He Met At High School Baseball Game

florida suspect
Source: Lee County Sheriff’s Office; UNSPLASH

Nov. 13 2022, Published 3:04 p.m. ET

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A former high school baseball coach and teacher in Florida was arrested and charged in connection with an alleged sex crime involving a student, authorities said.

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In March, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office was contacted about a student who claimed she met Erik Manning, 30, when she was a sophomore and attended her cousin’s baseball games at Lehigh Senior High School in Lehigh Acres, WBBH-TV reported.

The alleged victim claimed Manning, who taught at the school from 2016 to 2020, told her he thought she was one of the student’s parents and looked mature, and he invited her to watch games in an area normally reserved for players, the sheriff’s office said.

During the alleged victim’s junior and senior years, the two became friends and she began texting Manning regularly after he asked her for photos she took of the baseball games, officials said.

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The pair’s relationship allegedly eventually turned sexual in the winter of the student’s senior year when they met up and he asked for oral sex, according to the sheriff’s office.

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The alleged victim claimed Manning told her not to tell anyone about their alleged relationship, the sheriff's office said, since he could get in trouble because of his work, and the two allegedly had sex nearly every day.

The student reported the alleged incidents near the end of her senior year after she watched a Netflix documentary about sexual predators grooming children and she noted behavioral traits between Manning and the film’s subjects, authorities said.

Manning was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with sexual battery of a victim 16 or 17 years old, the Naples Daily News reported.

He was released from Lee County jail on $10,000 bail.

He was terminated from his position teaching social studies and coaching baseball and football at Lely High School in Naples, where he transferred to in 2020, Collier County district spokesman Chad Oliver said.


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