St. Petersburg College’s head baseball coach is accused of driving to Orlando to have sex with a 14-year-old girl.
Orange County deputies say 31-year-old Rob Francis contacted an undercover detective posing as an underage teenage girl in an online chat room on Tuesday.
After engaging in conversation with the undercover detective — during which Francis allegedly sent a naked picture of himself — he agreed to drive nearly 100 miles to Orlando to have sex with the 14-year-old girl. Authorities arrested Francis just 4 hours after he began chatting with the girl.
Deputies say Francis showed up with condoms, a bottle of wine for the teenage girl, and a video camera.
After his arrest, deputies say Francis admitted he made a mistake.
According to SPC’s website, Francis became head coach of their baseball team in September 2010, with 10 years of coaching experience. The website states Francis is married with one child.
St. Petersburg College placed Francis on administrative leave within hours of learning of the arrest. Administrators released this statement to 10 News:
“St. Petersburg College is in the process of notifying baseball coach Robert Barry Francis that he is on administrative leave, effective immediately. In addition, the employee’s college computer has been confiscated and his access to the college computer network has been suspended. Also, he is being notified that during this administrative leave he is to have no contact with college employees or students and is not to set foot on any St. Petersburg College property.
As the college learns more from the State Attorney and other legal and law-enforcement officials, additional steps may be taken as appropriate.”
As of Wednesday evening, Francis remained in the Orange County jail on $5100 bond.