LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - Channel 9 has learned a South Lake High School teacher was arrested Tuesday and is facing charges after accusations he had sex with a former student.
Lake County Sheriff's deputies said they pulled over 45-year-old Michael Ryan in June and found a teenage girl riding in the passenger seat.
Originally the pair denied any past interactions but deputies said later in the investigation the girl said she and Ryan had gone out multiple times for dinner and movies, and had sex twice.
Investigators said the girl is in her late teens.
"The night they pulled the two over she actually admitted to detectives sneaking out that night to have sex with him that night," said Lake County Sheriff's Lt. John Herrell.
The arrest follows a year-long investigation into the alleged relationship.
"The two had been communicating via cell phones and text messages. In fact, the victim's father, once he obtained records for her phone, he found hundreds of text messages between the two, so it had been going on quite frequently once it did get started over the summer," said Herrell.
Lake County School District officials said Ryan was moved out of the classroom and to district headquarters when the allegations first came to light last June. They said he is now on unpaid leave.
Ryan was also coach of the school's softball team.
"It's unbelievable that a grown man would do this to a kid," said one parent who said she knows the teacher well.
She said she believe there need to be changes at the high school.
"New administrators, new teachers, new softball coaches and screened better than what they are being screened," she said.
Ryan was released from the Lake County Jail about three hours after his arrest.