Former swim coach at St. Johns Country Day School accused of trying to solicit child online

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — An investigation by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office has led to the arrest of a former swim coach at St. Johns Country Day School.

The investigation involving a child being exploited online began in April.

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During the investigation, deputies said they found evidence that Mitchell Bentz, 24, solicited a child online for unlawful sexual conduct.

The sheriff’s office said he sent several lewd images to the child victim.

Bentz was later arrested and booked into the Clay County Jail and is facing multiple felony charges.

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A parent sent Action News Jax a message that was sent to parents from the St. Johns Country Day School headmaster. It said, in part:

“I want to inform you of some news that may be coming out shortly. Allegations have been made against a former part-time coach about some inappropriate social media outreach to underage students. As far as we know at this time, no St. Johns students were among these students.

“The coach has not been on campus since we were made aware of the allegations (and will not be), and their employment with the School has been severed.

“The School continues to cooperate fully with authorities as they pursue the investigation.

“Our students’ safety and well-being are always our highest priority and will continue to be throughout this investigation.”

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