CLEARWATER — A city lifeguard was fired after he was charged with engaging in sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl, police said.
Police arrested Victor Emmanuel Santiago-Rodriguez, 20, on June 22 at the North Greenwood Recreation & Aquatic Complex, where city records show he had worked for two weeks.
Police said Santiago-Rodriguez met the girl at Palmetto Park Apartments, where they both lived, and engaged in a sexual relationship lasting nine months.
No sexual acts occurred at the North Greenwood complex, at 900 N Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., police said. Investigators do not believe there were other victims.
Santiago-Rodriguez admitted to the sexual activity, police said, and he was charged with lewd and lascivious battery.
He was released from jail hours later on $20,000 bail.
Santiago-Rodriguez was fired the day of his arrest.
City officials said he had passed all required background checks.
The city never informed the public of the alleged crime or the lifeguard's termination, and it remains unclear whether visitors to the aquatic complex were alerted to the arrest.
Contact Drew Harwell at (727) 445-4170 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To write a letter to the editor, go to tampabay.com/letters.