Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Soccer coach pleads guilty in sex case, but avoids prison sentence

TAMPA — The teenager who had sex with her married adult soccer coach didn't want to talk about it with defense attorneys and didn't want to testify at trial.

Thanks to her, former Newsome High School soccer coach Ronald Lewis will avoid going to prison for a crime that could have put him behind bars for as long as 15 years.

On Wednesday, Lewis, 38, pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual activity with a minor as part of a plea deal that calls for one year of house arrest and nine years of sex offender probation.

"This was done solely to spare the victim from any further involvement," prosecutor Rita Peters said in court. She "would like to move on with her life."

She was 17 when the relationship began, 18 when it was reported to authorities. She played and he coached for the Brandon Flames, a girls' team in the Brandon Area Youth Soccer League.

Lewis also worked for several years for the Hillsborough County school system as a substitute teacher and volunteer soccer coach. At the time of his arrest, he was a computer lab manager and boys soccer coach at Newsome High School, which his teen victim attended.

Between February and November of last year, they had consensual sex in Lewis' Valrico home and in his Jeep Wrangler, Peters said.

Attorney Donald Smith said Lewis took responsibility for his "bad judgment."

He realized that he had caused "substantial grief" to his wife and family — he has two sons, ages 9 and 17 — and recognized "the potential adverse effect" his actions had on the young woman, Smith said.

Hillsborough Circuit Judge J. Rogers Padgett ordered Lewis to surrender his teaching certificate. Lewis will be a registered sex offender, which requires him to complete a treatment program, have no unsupervised contact with minors and abide by a curfew.

Times staff writer Andrew Meacham contributed to this report. Colleen Jenkins can be reached at or (813) 226-3337.

Soccer coach pleads guilty in sex case, but avoids prison sentence 11/12/08 [Last modified: Sunday, November 16, 2008 6:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Miami pollster Sergio Bendixen dies


    Sergio Bendixen, the first Hispanic to run a U.S. presidential campaign who later pioneered public-opinion polling among Latinos and other immigrant populations, died late Friday in Miami. He was 68.

    Sergio Bendixen.
  2. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates with his team on the bench after beating Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) to score his second goal of the period and to tie the score at 4 to 4 during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/27/17).
  3. Why the Lightning should keep Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    Keep him.

    Jonathan Drouin is live bait. The Lightning is ready to run the hook through him and cast him out there again. Drouin has enough talent for the Lightning to meet some defensive needs in a deal.

    Keep him.

    Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin celebrates after beating Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj during the first period of Tuesday's win in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  4. Romano: When a life is more valuable than an arrest

    Public Safety

    Before examining the details, let's propose a question:

    This is a handout request to accompany school portraits of Joey Boylan, who died of a drug overdose and who is being written about in John Romano's column for Sunday. We'd like to run a mug of Joey with the column. Any of the first three attached pictures would be fine to use. We don't need them all. Just pick your favorite portrait and put that in the system. Thanks.
  5. Bono visits with former President George W. Bush


    A surprising photo showed up Friday on former President George W. Bush's Instagram feed. Apparently Bono made a visit to the ranch.

    Former President George W. Bush and Bono.