LARGO (FOX 13) - Deputies say they have arrested 56-year-old Frederick Lowe on charges of child abuse and possession of child pornography. He is an attorney and a former volunteer basketball coach for East Lake High School.
Deputies say the abuse victim was a 16-year-old boy. Through their investigation, detectives learned that the teen was being mentored by Lowe at his home in Palm Harbor. Authorities say Lowe had inappropriate physical contact with the teen and "disciplined" him in an abusive manner.
"This sick guy has devastated this 16-year-old boy and traumatized him,” said Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. “This is about as wrong as it gets and this guy is where he needs to be.”
Detectives say Lowe met the boy while he volunteered as a basketball coach at East Lake High School in Tarpon Springs.
When the boy got in trouble, Lowe started mentoring him. Deputies said his mentoring took on a sinister role and forced the boy into a bizarre punishment.
"He is sitting there with a 16-year-old boy and is making him strip down naked, he is standing there watching him, makes him put a diaper on him and stands there until he urinates,” said Gualtieri.
Deputies say Lowe threatened to kick him off the basketball team if he did not comply.
"He wanted to please, he wanted to do a good job in sports, he wanted to excel. This guy knew what buttons to push," said Sheriff Gualtieri.
Deputies said Lowe would kiss the boy and say he loved him.
A neighbor at Lowe's complex told FOX 13 he would have several boys over at his place. Deputies are worried more victims exist.
"There were indications in the past with sexual innuendo and sexual overtones and sexual advances to other boys over time," said the Sheriff.
The 16-year-old's parents did know of some of the situations. Deputies said they never reported them, but are hoping if others are victims they will come forward.
"If you don't come forward and we don't know about it there is nothing we can do about it," said the Sheriff.
At this time, detectives are asking any potential past victims; or anyone with information that would assist investigators in this case to contact Detective William Kenna or Corporal Mike Kolenda of the Crimes Against
Children Unit at 727-582-6200; or to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1800-873-TIPS.