Matthew Love, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida high school track coach, was arrested Monday after a student who had been attending his sports rehabilitation sessions accused him of touching her in an inappropriate way. Love, 42, was booked into a Broward County jail on three counts of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child between the age of 12 and 16. He was later granted $30,000 bail bond, which sources say he has posted.
Sources say that Love was working as a track coach at a high school in South Florida before his arrest. Police haven’t released the name of the school. It was reportedly Love’s responsibility to coach students in athletics, and part of his job was reportedly administering rehabilitation to students recovering from specific injuries. Reports also indicated that that Love was employed as a contractor through the Chamber Fitness Center in Davie, Florida. The center was created by Chris Chambers, a former wide receiver for the Florida Dolphins. Love was removed from the fitness center’s staff after his arrest was announced, sources indicate.
The victim was apparently recovering from an injured hamstring in 2011 when the purported abuse occurred. Love allegedly pulled her from class to give her rehabilitation sessions, which were supposed to aid with her recovery. According to reports and the victim’s allegations, Love took advantage of the victim during two of these sessions by inappropriately touching her chest. A third incident reportedly took place before a track meet, during a stretching exercise, though sources have not released any specifics regarding the occurrence. The victim, whose identity has been kept from the public, is of unknown age. Sources indicate she was between 12 and 16.
“A young girl came forward and indicated to us her track and field coach had touched her inappropriately,” an officer from Davie Police Department was quoted as telling reporters. “She had suffered a hamstring injury and he would get her out of class early. During stretching exercises, Mr. Love touched her inappropriately. We made numerous attempts to contact Mr. Love about these allegations with negative results.”
Love will have to wear a monitoring device on his ankle if he is released on bond, a judge has ordered. He will also be barred from contacting with the victim. Love, sources say, will plead not guilty to the charges.
Love is not the only South Floridian facing sexual misconduct charges this week. Alex Talbert Shinn of Deerfield Beach, Florida, was arrested Tuesday after investigators say he traveled to Boca Raton to meet up with a girl he thought was 14. Shinn was booked into the Palm Beach County jail on charges of using a computer to solicit a child and traveling to meet a minor after luring the child online. His bail bond was set at $30,000.
Reports indicate that Shinn had posted a classified ad online that allegedly implied he was looking for a sex partner. An officer from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office, who is also part of a nationwide task force aimed at stopping Internet crimes against children, reportedly responded to the ad. The officer was using an undercover profile that listed him as a 14-year-old girl.
After exchanging provocative messages via email, including one that featured a picture of a young girl, Shinn allegedly scheduled a meet-up at an unlisted location in Boca Raton. When Shinn arrived at the location to pick up the girl, members of the Palm Beach Sherriff’s Office arrested him, sources indicate. Upon his arrest, Shinn reportedly admitted to officers that he went there to meet with an underage girl he had met online.
Read about more Fort Lauderdale sex crimes here.