• High school girls' basketball coach accused of sexual battery on player


    ORLANDO, Fla. - A high school volunteer basketball coach, who is accused of having a sexual relationship with one of his players, is expected to spend another night in jail before he is able to bond out.

    Orange County deputies said 38-year-old Herbert Thomas coached girls' basketball at Jones High School, but met his alleged victim through the Florida Girls Basketball League.

    "My understanding is that he is affiliated to her through a relationship with the Florida girls' basketball league," said Jeff Williamson, of the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

    Thomas was expected to bond out Tuesday, but there's been a delay. He must get a landline set up in his home before he can be released, which is one of the conditions of his home confinement.

    He is expected to be released from jail sometime tomorrow after he's fitted with a GPS device.

     School officials said Thomas is now not allowed on campus.

    The relationship between the teen and Thomas started about five months ago, but Orange County detectives found out about it three days ago when the teen's mother became suspicious.

    The sheriff's office wouldn't say if the girl was also a student at Jones High School, but the school district isn't taking any chances.

    The school district told WFTV that Thomas has been volunteering as a girls' basketball coach for the last two years, and as a general volunteer before that.

    The school district also said it will do its own investigation as well.

    Parents received automated calls on Monday from the school district, explaining that Thomas is in jail, accused of having sex with a player he coached.

    The girl's mother alerted the sheriff's office to suspicious behavior between her daughter and the coach, investigators said.

    "Time spent with the student, also some issues regarding the telephone calls made, number of calls, number of contacts that were made," said Jeff Williamson of the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

    The school district said it did a background check on Thomas when he originally became a volunteer, and it came back clean.

    Detectives said they searched Thomas' home and although they won't say exactly what they found, it was enough evidence to arrest him.

    Detectives said they believe there could be more victims and hope those people contact the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

    The school district and the sheriff's office are trying to make sure there are no more alleged victims in the case.

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