2 sexual abuse cases against former Celebration High School baseball coach dropped

CELEBRATION, Fla. — Two cases of sexual abuse against a former Celebration High School baseball coach have been dropped by prosecutors, even as deputies arrested him for a new charge.


Prosecutors did not say why they dismissed the cases against Samuel Figueroa, who was arrested for them in April. They represented the two smallest cases Figueroa faced.

The other two cases are moving forward, with Figueroa facing a half dozen charges between them after the prosecutors’ review. They included the now-former student who told deputies she barely made it through high school due to the abuse. Deputies said they had video of Figueroa following her into a closet.

Many of the charges are second-degree felonies, which carry maximum sentences of 15 years in prison.

READ: Former Celebration High School coach facing more charges for inappropriate conduct with students

Osceola County School District officials said they’re waiting for the criminal investigation to wrap up before launching their own inquiry, focused on whether staff members ignored girls’ complaints about Figueroa for years.

Several girls said they told officials at Celebration High School but were brushed off, court and investigative records showed.

One staff member identified in one of the reports denied the accusation, according to the district’s attorney.

READ: ‘It’s horrible’: Neighbors react to Celebration High School coach accused of sexual misconduct

The attorney told WFTV he will suggest two tweaks to policies to help students in the future. First, he wants the district to investigate an abuse claim when DCF or law enforcement decide not to pursue the claim. The district already has that policy, he said, but the school investigates, which could be a conflict of interest.

Secondly, he wanted to expand investigation training given to administrators to include school principals, a policy he implemented when he worked for Orange County.

Figueroa’s trial is tentatively scheduled for July.

READ: Osceola schools launches investigation after students claim staff ignored assault reports

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