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More charges for Tampa Bay Tech coach accused of having sex with student

Coach Reginald Lawrence placed a student's hand on his genitals in a 2009 encounter, deputies say.

TAMPA — Another person has come forward with accusations against a Tampa Bay Technical High School coach arrested this week on charges of having sex with a student, deputies said.

Reginald Jamal Lawrence, 48, was arrested Tuesday and charged with six counts of having sex with a minor student, a first-degree felony. Investigators say Lawrence, a student success coach on the high school’s guidance staff and the girls varsity basketball coach, had sex with the student about six times in 2016 at Lawrence’s home, which is listed in Ruskin. The student was a minor at the time and has since graduated, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Now another former student has come forward to report a 2009 encounter with Lawrence, according to the Sheriff’s Office, telling investigators that Lawrence called the then-student into his office. While the two were in the office, deputies say, Lawrence pulled down his pants and placed the student’s hand on top of his genitals.

Lawrence now faces two additional charges of battery and exposure of sexual organs, both misdemeanors. Jail records show he was released from the Hillsborough County jail on Thursday after posting $50,000 bail.

This screen shot from Tampa Bay Technical High School's web site on Wednesday shows Reginald Lawrence listed as "student success coach" on the guidance staff. Lawrence was also the girls varsity basketball coach. He is now on administrative leave pending termination, a school district spokeswoman said. [ tbt.mysdhc.org ]

In an interview Tuesday with a detectives, Lawrence denied having sex with the student in 2016, according to an arrest report. But the report says a detective listened in on a phone call between Lawrence and the student in which the coach acknowledged the sexual encounters and indicated “he had no concerns with them being caught.”

Lawrence was placed on administrative leave pending his termination, Hillsborough School District spokeswoman Tanya Arja said this week. Lawrence started with the district in 1999 and did not have any previous complaints or investigations on his record, Arja said.

Lawrence, known at Tampa Bay Tech as “Coach Reggie,” has been the girls basketball coach since the 2009-10 school year, taking the Titans to five straight playoff appearances, including the school’s first state championship, in 2019. He had one losing season during that time, with an overall record of 197-87.

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