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As the Penn State scandal moves along, there are smaller-scale (but perhaps equally significant) incidents coming to light involving sports figures and coaches.
It is being reported that an underage sex sting operation in Florida resulted in approximately 40 arrests, including a swim teacher and former PGA Tour Professional Steve Thomas. Thomas was charged with seducing an underage girl, and using a computer to entice a legal guardian or parent to commit sexual acts on an underage girl. Apparently, Thomas was caught in an operation set up similar to NBC’s "To Catch a Predator," where he attempted to meet with a girl he thought was 13. The swimming coach arrested is Bryan Woodward of the Gator Swim Club. Mr. Woodward coached children of various ages since he was hired in 2010.
Also, a former NFL lineman committed suicide this week, as he was about to enter a plea in Oregon to five counts of sexual abuse and one count of luring a minor. According to the District Attorney, the charges involved three victims, all under the age of 14.
This kind of conduct is not new, but high profile cases such as Penn State will lead to reporting of additional abusive situations. Locally, a Catholic High School coach was recently arrested for videotaping boys in the shower room. Although there was no evidence of any sexual contact, Immaculata High School’s Pat Lott was arrested on multiple counts of endangering the welfare of children. A search of Lott’s computer allegedly revealed multiple photographs of underage boys in the shower, and a hidden camera was later found in the shower area.