A Florida high school track coach has been arrested for allegedly attempting to have sexual contact with a 16-year-old student and not disclosing he was HIV-positive, according to police.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said 40-year-old Jarvis Young was arrested on Thursday and charged with sexual battery of a victim between 12-18 years of age by a custodial authority, lewd and lascivious acts by a 24-year-old or older on a victim between 16-17 years of age, abuse of a child without bodily harm, interfering with the custody of a minor and being an HIV infected person and having sex without informing the partner.
The investigation into Young started on Aug. 28 after the 16-year-old student at Lakeland High School told the school resource deputy about the alleged sexual contact initiated by the track coach.
The victim claimed Young was giving him a massage when he removed the victim’s shorts and touched his privates while attempting to perform an oral sex act. The victim told investigators he jumped up and stopped Young. The incident happened two days prior to the interview when the two were in a school building.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd announced the arrest of Young, who had been arrested previously for inappropriate sexual behavior with minors but never convicted.
“Jarvis Young is a predator—he likes children in a way that no adult should, and he used his position of authority to take advantage of a child for his own illicit sexual gratification,” the sheriff said. “He needs to be locked-up and never be allowed unsupervised near children again.”
Judd said Young was charged in Polk County with conspiracy to commit sexual battery by a person in authority in 2011 after he and another person were accused of picking up two juveniles they mentored and drove them to Orlando where they sexually battered the victims. The case was dropped because the statute of limitations had expired.
In 2017, Judd continued, the Lakeland Police Department learned from another juvenile that Young allegedly touched his thigh and unzipped his pants before the juvenile fled. No criminal charges were ever filed in the case, according to police.
While the case was being investigated, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office discovered Young traveled to Alabama. When he returned, he was arrested.
Polk County Public Schools Superintendent Fred Heid thanked the sheriff’s office for its investigation into the matter, adding the district will continue to cooperate with the investigation.
“Our students and families should expect to be safe in the presence of school employees and coaches. The allegations against Jarvis Young are deeply disturbing,” Heid said. “Although he was never convicted of any past incidents, I am extremely troubled that he was involved with our school system in any capacity.”
The superintendent continued to say the district will conduct a full investigation into how the track coach was permitted to become a coach at the high school. Heid also said the district would begin conducting more frequent background checks as an extra measure to ensure, among other things.
“We will take a hard look at the circumstances that resulted in this individual working alongside students,” Heid said. “I will do everything in my power to prevent this from happening again.”
Young is no longer involved with the district.
The sheriff’s office said it believes there could be additional victims who have not come forward and encouraged more to come forward by calling 863-298-6200.