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Miami Gardens Track Coach Darius Lawshea Accused Of Sexual Assault

MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) – A Miami Gardens track and field coach is accused of sexually assaulting one of his students 10 years ago and sexually molesting her sister recently.

A prosecutor also said in court there may be "more victims out there."

The woman claims Darius Lawshea, 45, had non-consensual sex with her three times in 2010 when she was a 14-year-old member of the Miami Gardens High School track team.

She claims the first time was when she stayed overnight at his apartment, according to his arrest report.  She reportedly said the other two times were in his car when he was driving her home from practice.

According to the arrest form, the woman said "she never disclosed what happened because she was fearful because Mr. Lawshea was loved by everyone in the community and she didn't want to get in trouble but she battled with why Mr. Lawshea like her and she was only 14-years-old."

The report added that she said when she was in high school, she told someone that Lawshea was "not who everyone thought he was" and that he "did something to her."

She said when she heard that Lawshea had reportedly "recently sexually molested her little sister, so therefore she knew it was important to finally speak up," according to the report.

Lawshea was arrested on Oct. 25 and is facing a felony sexual battery charge.

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In court, Circuit Judge Mindy Glazer said "these are serious charges" and found probable cause on both cases. She ordered Lawshea to stay away from both victims and have no contact with them whatsoever and stay at least 500 feet away from them and surrender his firearms.

"Do you understand the stay away order?" she asked.

"Yes ma'am," said Lawshea.

She also said that Lawshea should be held without bond on the sexual battery charges and bond would be $7,500 on each of the two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation on a child 12 to 16 years old.

In court, an attorney for Lawshea said through a Zoom call, "My client is well respected in the community and well respected among many who are now adults. There has been an outpouring of support for Mr. Lawshea. This is an individual who is going forth and plans to say that he is innocent."

At the hearing, a prosecutor said "there may be more victims out there."

Anyone who knows of any victims should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).

A spokeswoman for Miami Gardens PD told CBS4's Peter D'Oench that the department is planning to release a statement about this case.

According to Lawshea's LinkedIn page, he's the head coach of the Miami Gardens Xpress Track and Field Club.

"Miami Gardens Xpress is a privately operated organization and is not affiliated with the City of Miami Gardens. Based on the allegations, the City empathizes with the families impacted," a spokesperson for the city said.

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