JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — An Englewood High School employee who served as a basketball coach and a security guard at the school was arrested Thursday and is accused of five felony counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
Duval County Public Schools said Paul L. McPherson, 45, also faces three misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and a misdemeanor count of possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana.
McPherson was arrested in Clay County and booked into the Duval County Jail. McPherson is being investigated by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.DCPS said it became aware of the arrest Thursday.
DCPS said “under the presumption of innocence,” McPherson “remains a district employee in a non-pay status, pending further action in the matter.”
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Englewood High Principal Marleny Chirino shared the following message with school families:
“Hello families, this is Principal Chirino calling, and unfortunately, I am calling with news that is very disappointing.
“Today, our school district received notification that one of our school employees, who served as the boys basketball coach and a security guard at the school, was arrested following a JSO investigation.
“We have been informed that he was arrested on charges of five felony counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, three misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and a misdemeanor count of possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana.
“The employee, Paul McPherson, was reassigned from our school to district duties with no student contact on Sept. 5 of this year following the initial allegations. While the presumption of innocence applies, I feel that it is important for you to know this has transpired. If you have information that you think might be helpful to law enforcement on this matter, I encourage you to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office directly.
“Again, this is disappointing news, but I always want to keep you informed. Thank you for listening, and good-bye.”