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Bradford High coach resigns after admitting to sexual conduct with a student

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 6:21 PM EDT
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STARKE, Fla. (WCJB) - The Bradford High School head volleyball coach has resigned after allegedly having a relationship and being sexually involved with a 16-year old female student at the school.

24-year old Lainie Rodgers was arrested on charges of a felony sex offense and child cruelty on Monday. Rodgers was first suspected of having an inappropriate relationship with a student in May. In September new evidence came forward, including a friend of the victim claiming she saw sexually explicit pictures of Rodgers on the victim’s phone.

RELATED STORY: Bradford County school employee arrested after sending sexually explicit texts to a minor

According to the arrest report released by Bradford County Sheriff’s Office investigators on Tuesday, Rodgers began interacting with the victim as a family friend and started helping her prepare for college and with softball. Rodgers admitted to sending sexually explicit images and text images to the victim, kissing her on several occasions, and letting the victim touch her breast. The victim, who initially denied anything physically happening between her and Rodgers, admitted to it after being questioned by deputies on a second occasion.

Major Brad Smith, the Public Information Officer for BCSO, says Rodgers and her family are well-liked in the community and she will now have to deal with the justice system.

“I’ve known Lainie for many years, I’ve known her family they’re all good people. She has obviously made a poor decision and she is now admitting to her errors and is going to have to proceed through the justice system to see what all is going to transpire from here,” said Smith.

Karen Clarke, the Assistant Superintendent for the Bradford County School District, says if anyone hears any information pertaining to something that puts the safety of children in schools in the county in jeopardy, they should speak up.

Student safety and well-being is our top priority, and so if individuals whether it’s a student, parent, or community member have information that could impact the safety or well-being so that we can make sure they’re protected to please let us know that information,” said Clarke.

Rodgers posted her $75,000 bail around three hours after turning herself in. She resigned effective immediately on Tuesday and the date for her first court appearance has yet to be announced.

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