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Former East Lake High coach charged with child abuse in bizarre diaper case has died

Frederick T. Lowe, a 57-year-old former volunteer basketball coach at East Lake High arrested last year on charges of abusing a 16-year-old student, died Sunday in a Tampa home.

The Hills­borough County medical examiner's office confirmed Wednesday that Lowe died at 13812 Shady Shores Drive. An autopsy was conducted, but a cause of death had not been determined pending further tests, such as toxicology results.

According to Pinellas court records, his trial was scheduled for January.

Last December, Lowe was arrested on charges of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and possession of child pornography. He was accused of making a boy strip and wear a diaper until he urinated on himself.

For about two years, Lowe volunteered as a coach for East Lake High's basketball team. Last April, according to the Pinellas Sheriff's Office, a student began visiting Lowe's home for mentoring and tutoring. During five occasions, Lowe called the student a "bad boy" and made him wear the diaper as punishment for acting out at school, Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said.

The boy eventually told his parents and stopped going to Lowe's house. His parents didn't report it to law enforcement to avoid embarrassment, Gualtieri said. But the teen went back to see Lowe, who kissed him on the mouth five times, the sheriff said.

During his arrest, detectives said they found video pornography involving children as young as 9 years old.

A basketball coach reported Lowe to the Sheriff's Office after the victim's parents told her what had happened. The Pinellas County School District barred Lowe from coaching and interacting with students.

According to Florida Bar records, Lowe graduated from the South Texas College of Law and began practicing law in Florida in 1986.

He worked as corporate counsel for Scarfone Innovative Companies in Tampa in the 1980s. Lowe also coached a few teams in the 1980s. He served as assistant boys basketball coach at Plant High from 1986 to 1988, according to St. Petersburg Times articles.

According to his obituary, Lowe is survived by his three children, his father, two brothers and a sister.

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