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Clearwater band coach accused of sexual contact with two students

PALM HARBOR — A 22-year-old volunteer high school band coach has been arrested on charges of having inappropriate sexual contact with two 15-year-old girls, both band members at Palm Harbor University High School.

Ryan C. Wilborn of Clearwater met the girls through a relative, then developed relationships with each through the school, where he was a volunteer band coach last fall, according to detectives.

Detectives began investigating Sunday after one girl's parent called authorities. Investigators later identified a second girl.

Wilborn engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with one girl in September, detectives say, and the investigation revealed that he had sexual intercourse with the other several times from September to December.

School records show Wilborn logged seven hours last fall assisting the percussion section of the band.

Wilborn and the girls had sexual contact in a number of locations, including the home of one of the girls, a grocery store parking lot and on the campus of the high school, officials said.

Wilborn's attorney said people "should wait until we actually see the facts" before drawing any conclusions about his client, who he said is a student at the University of South Florida.

"When the full facts are developed it will show the Sheriff's Office has exaggerated what happened," attorney George Tragos said. "Secondly, any statements he made were made in a coercive atmosphere, which we will detail later."

Authorities say Wilborn admitted his actions when detectives confronted him. He was arrested on one count of lewd and lascivious molestation and one count of lewd and lascivious battery about 8:30 p.m. Monday. He was released after posting $40,000 bail.

Wilborn, a 2004 graduate of Palm Harbor University High School, passed a national criminal background check that all volunteers undergo, according to school district spokeswoman Andrea Zahn.

Jonathan Abel can be reached at jabel@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4157.

>>Fast facts

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Detectives say there could be additional victims and ask anyone with information to call sheriff's Detective Brad Carrozza of the Crimes Against Children Unit at (727) 582-6200.

Clearwater band coach accused of sexual contact with two students 04/08/08 [Last modified: Monday, April 14, 2008 10:36am]
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