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Crime & Courts

Lake Region High girls basketball coach accused of molesting student

TBO.com staff
Published:   |   Updated: September 5, 2013 at 06:07 PM

The girls basketball coach at Lake Region High School in Polk County was charged Thursday with lewd and lascivious molestation after deputies said he inappropriately touched a 15-year-old female student.

Deputies said Michael Cope, 52, who also serves as an in-school suspension para-instructor, touched the student against her will while they were alone in a classroom.

According to the arrest affidavit, the student and another classmate were in Cope’s classroom Aug. 30 to serve an in-school suspension.

According to the affidavit, the inappropriate touching occurred after the second student left to use the restroom, and again when Cope instructed that student to retrieve a stapler in another classroom.

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