OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - A 26-year-old Poinciana High School teacher and girls' basketball coach was arrested Thursday after having an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old student, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office said.
Deputies began an investigation after the girl reported to school administrators that Wayne McKenzie Ricks was making her feel uncomfortable, Osceola County Maj. Jacob Ruiz said.
Ricks bought gifts for the student, including sneakers, a cellphone and a necklace, Ruiz said.
Detectives said Ricks kissed the victim once and sent her a nude photograph of his genitals through Snapchat. The allegations were confirmed by a recorded phone call, deputies said.
"We would like to thank the deputies, detectives and school officials that acted quickly in this case to ensure that our students are not exposed to any individuals who are willing to harm our children," Ruiz said.
Faculty and staff members voted Ricks teacher of the year in November. He has since resigned from his position.
Ricks was booked into the Osceola County Jail on charges of battery and transmission of material harmful to minors.
Anyone with information about this case or a similar case is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 407-348-2222.
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