Make us your home page
Instagram

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 cjenkins@sptimes.com 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

Loading...
  1. Trump sprinkles political attacks into Scout Jamboree speech

    GLEN JEAN, W.Va. — Ahead of President Donald Trump's appearance Monday at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, the troops were offered some advice on the gathering's official blog: Fully hydrate. Be "courteous" and "kind." And avoid the kind of divisive chants heard during the 2016 campaign such as "build …

    President Donald Trump addresses the Boy Scouts of America's 2017 National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve in Glen Jean, W.Va., July 24, 2017. [New York Times]
  2. Trump, seething about attorney general, speculates about firing Sessions, sources say

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has spoken with advisers about firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as he continues to rage against Sessions' decision to recuse himself from all matters related to the Russia investigation.

  3. John McCain to return to Senate for health care vote

    WASHINGTON — The Senate plans to vote Tuesday to try to advance a sweeping rewrite of the nation's health-care laws with the last-minute arrival of Sen. John McCain — but tough talk from President Donald Trump won no new public support from skeptical GOP senators for the flagging effort that all but …

  4. Last orca calf born in captivity at a SeaWorld park dies

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — The last killer whale born in captivity under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program died Monday at the company's San Antonio, Texas, park, SeaWorld said.

    Thet orca Takara helps guide her newborn, Kyara, to the water's surface at SeaWorld San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas, in April. Kyara was the final killer whale born under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program. The Orlando-based company says 3-month-old Kyara died Monday. [Chris Gotshall/SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment via AP]
  5. Blake Snell steps up, but Rays lose to Orioles anyway (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell stepped up when he had to Monday and delivered an impressive career-high seven-plus innings for the Rays. That it wasn't enough in what ended up a 5-0 loss to the Orioles that was their season-high fifth straight is symptomatic of the mess they are in right now.

    Tim Beckham stands hands on hips after being doubled off first.