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Haines City high school teacher arrested, accused of sexual battery with a student

Wayne Ricks, 29, was hired at the high school in August of 2020.
Credit: Haines City Police Department

HAINES CITY, Fla. — A former Haines City high school teacher was arrested Tuesday evening for sexually battering a student for months, the city's police department says.

Wayne Ricks, 29, was arrested on 10 counts of sexual battery on a victim between the ages of 12 and 18. According to police, the former basketball coach had been involved with the student since the fall, including on-campus. 

Police say Ricks would have the student come to his classroom while he was alone, and he would sexually batter her in a closet. A friend of the student who was in the classroom on most occasions said it happened around 10 times, officers said. The two would spend time with each other outside of school as well, according to police.

Investigators say they were able to obtain several videos and pictures that show Ricks and the student together, including one that showed the two at Universal Studio Halloween Horror Nights. 

Phone records were also obtained by authorities which revealed more than 80 phone calls were made between Ricks and the student between December and January. Eventually, investigators say one of the student's family members became aware of the situation and reported it to police. Ricks was taken to Osceola County jail Tuesday night

Ricks was an ESE teacher and junior varsity boys' basketball coach at Haines City High School. He was hired in August of 2020 before retiring over the weekend.

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