Winter Haven High School athletic director, Steven Beasley, arrested on sexual battery charges

11:55 PM, Aug 15, 2013   |    comments
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Video: High School athletic director arrested for sexual battery

 

Winter Haven, Florida -- Police have arrested an athletic director at Winter Haven High School for sexually assaulting two women.

Reportedly, on July 27, athletic director Steven Beasley was at a community event on Lake Howard. During the event, Beasley approached the first victim while she was waist-deep in the water. 

He began a conversation with her which, according to the victim, quickly turned into Beasley hugging her against her will and then him sticking his hand down her bathing suit bottom. She told him to stop, but he continued on saying, "It's okay." Eventually, she pushed him away and swam off towards friends.

Beasley found the second victim swimming in the water with a life vest. She told Beasley she needed help finding her boat and asked for his assistance. Beasley then sexually assaulted her in a similar fashion to the first victim. She told him to stop and was able to swim away. 

"He never came across as that kind of person. He never came across that way at all," said a surprised Troy Woods, a Winter Haven football player.

Although witnesses in the area were unable to see the sexual battery due to the incidents occurring under water, they did confirm that they saw Beasley with both victims in the water, backing up the statements made by both victims.

"I feel like Mr. Beasley would never do such a thing. I don't think he would. He's like my second dad," said Megan Speyre, a Winter Haven High School student.

While the police affidavit list one of the alleged victims as an employee who works under Beasley, Speyre said she knows both of the women are former students.

Though the event was non-school related, Beasley was acquainted with both victims, in part due to his position as Athletic Director.

On August 18, a warrant was obtained for Beasley's arrest and he was taken into custody at Winter Haven High School and booked into the Polk County Jail for Sexual Battery and Attempted Sexual Battery.

Winter Haven Police Chief Gary Hester says there is one key piece of evidence that links at least one of the alleged victims to the suspect - rumors of a threesome.

"When we interviewed the defendant, he admits that him and his wife and the volleyball coach Bennett who is a witness had been involved in threesomes and the wife confirms that as well as well as Bennett and they all three state that they have not shared that with anyone else," he said.

Chief Hester says Beasley told one of his alleged victim's about the encounter during the attack and the victim would not have known about it otherwise.

According to information released by the school district at the request of 10 News, Beasley was first hired by the school district in 1990 and is paid an annual salary of $56,174 a year.

Since Beasley's arrest on Thursday, Polk County Schools placed him on administrative leave while the investigation is being conducted.

On the attempted sexual assault charge, Beasley was jailed on $1,000 bond, but no bond on the sexual battery charge. 

He is expected to appear before a judge on Friday morning where he will find out if a bond will be issued on the more serious charge.

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