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Lennard High college success coach accused of unlawful sexual activity with a minor

Anthony Errol Witter, 37, faces charges involving a 16-year-old student, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Anthony Errol Witter, a 37-year-old success coach at Lennard High School in Ruskin, was arrested Thursday on charges of unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
Anthony Errol Witter, a 37-year-old success coach at Lennard High School in Ruskin, was arrested Thursday on charges of unlawful sexual activity with a minor. [ Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office ]
Published Mar. 26
Updated Mar. 26

TAMPA — A 37-year-old college success coach at Lennard High School was arrested on charges of unlawful sexual activity with a minor involving a student, deputies said.

Anthony Errol Witter was engaged in illegal sexual activity with a 16-year-old female student from November to March, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Witter was not the student’s teacher but they met at school, deputies said.

Another student who is a friend of the 16-year-old reported the relationship to an adult, triggering the investigation, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The agency said detectives do not believe there are other minors involved.

According to an arrest report, four of the six incidents happened at Witter’s Ruskin home. During an interview with a Sheriff’s Office investigator, Witter “denied having anything other than a professional counselor to student relationship with the victim,” the report states.

Related: Job cuts loom in Hillsborough schools

Records show Witter was arrested at his home on Thursday night and booked into the Hillsborough County jail early Friday on six counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor. He was being held Friday in lieu of $45,000 bail, records show.

Witter has worked at Lennard since he started with the school system in July 2020 and did not have a prior disciplinary history, according to a Hillsborough County School District spokeswoman. He has been pulled from duty pending a meeting with the Professional Standards department. He was still employed as of Friday, officials said.

“Our district is shocked and disappointed at this reprehensible behavior, and it will not be tolerated in this school district,” a district statement said. “We are thankful that another student had the courage to report the situation to a trusted adult so proper action could be taken.”

A success coach helps students by setting goals to improve in areas such as academic performance, attendance, and behavior, according to a district job description. Personnel records show that as of October, Witter’s annual salary was $51,001.16.

On his Facebook page, Witter describes himself as an “Educator, Coach, Trainer, Father, Mentor” who is “Here to impact growth and development through athletics.”

Times staff writer Marlene Sokol contributed to this report.