A Clearwater Central High Catholic High School wrestling coach was arrested Tuesday on charges that he assaulted two students after forcing them to strip naked.
Scott Stern, who worked at Clearwater Central Catholic High School for 12 years, was previously investigated for similar claims, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
According to Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, detectives received an anonymous tip Oct. 6 about Stern’s unusual discipline techniques.
During their investigation, detectives interviewed several students, including two who told them Stern had physically abused them because he suspected they were involved with drugs.
One student said that Stern forced him to take off his clothes, grabbed him by the throat and groin, and yelled at him. The other student said Stern forced him to strip naked and struck his buttocks with a ruler.
In 1999, Stern was accused of stripping a student naked and forcing the boy to balance a ruler on his head. Pinellas Park police referred the case to the State Attorney’s Office, but prosecutors declined to file charges.
The alleged victim in that case told FOX 13 News, “Thank God he got caught finally. It’s like a weight off my shoulders.”
A coach accused of abusing a child should not be allowed to continue working at a school. Hopefully now that the brave victims in this case courageously came forward, future children will safer.
Unfortunately, child predators rarely have just one victim. I urge school officials and law enforcement to continue actively seeking out information from anyone who may have witnessed or suffered abuse by Stern.