TAMPA, Fla. — A college success coach at a Florida high school is accused of sexual activity with a 16-year-old student, authorities said.
Anthony Errol Witter, 37, of Ruskin, was arrested Thursday and charged with six counts of unlawful sexual activity of a minor, the Tampa Bay Times reported. Bail was set at $45,000.
Witter tutored students at Lennard High School in Ruskin, and allegedly began a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student in November, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. The girl attends the high school but was not one of Witter’s students, WFLA reported.
According to an arrest report, four of the six incidents happened at Witter’s Ruskin home, the Times reported. Witter “denied having anything other than a professional counselor to student relationship with the victim,” the report states.
According to the sheriff’s office, another student, who is a friend of the teen, reported the relationship to an adult, WFLA reported.
“Anthony Witter knew that his actions were wrong, and as the adult, he should never have allowed this relationship to develop with a minor,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “No parent should have to worry about their child being preyed upon when they send them to school. We are thankful that another student bravely came forward to report this inappropriate and unacceptable behavior.”
According to a job description posted by the Hillsborough County School District, a success coach helps students by setting goals to improve academic performance, behavior and attendance.
Witter has worked at Lennard High School since he started with the school system in July 2020, the Times reported. According to a district spokesperson, he did not have a prior disciplinary history.
“Our district is shocked and disappointed at this reprehensible behavior, and it will not be tolerated in this school district,” district officials said in a statement. “We are thankful that another student had the courage to report the situation to a trusted adult so proper action could be taken.”
Cox Media Group