SPC coach out of jail on bond

The head baseball coach at St. Petersburg College is out of jail, after he was arrested for trying to have sex with a teenage girl. Robert Francis was released on a $5,100 bond from the Orlando County Jail.

Francis is accused of driving to Orlando to have sex with a 14-year-old girl.

Orange County deputies say the 31-year-old contacted an undercover detective posing as the girl – in an online chat room on Tuesday. After a conversation, during which Francis allegedly sent a naked picture of himself, he agreed to drive nearly 100 miles to have sex with who he thought was the 14-year-old girl.  Deputies say Francis showed up with condoms, a bottle of wine for the teenage girl, and a video camera. He was then arrested.

People we spoke with in Francis’ Oldsmar neighborhood along Hemingway Drive, were very surprised to learn the baseball coach lived near them and what he’s accused of.

“You’re always shocked. It’s always a shock to hear somebody’s going to do that,” said neighbor, Joan Karvelas.

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“He ought to be ashamed of himself, as the other coaches are coming to light with the numerous incidents. I’m certainly not pleased about it,” said neighbor, Bob Mizel.


According to authorities, Francis admitted he made a mistake. He’s being charged with obscene communication and transition of harmful material to a minor via an electronic device.