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April 2, 2013

Former L.C. footballer to serve seven years in prison

Florida coach sentenced

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — BARTOW, Fla.— Matt Thompson, the former North and South Laurel football player who was charged in 2011 with having sex with a 17-year-old female student at George Jenkins High School in Florida, was sentenced in November to seven years in prison for the offense.

Thompson, 31, who was the head football coach at George Jenkins, pled guilty to two counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and could have faced up to 30 years in prison. The Florida state sentencing guidelines called for a minimum of 11 years in prison, which is why Thompson agreed to the plea deal.

The plea agreement calls for him to surrender his Florida teaching certificate and to serve 20 years of sexual offender probation.

Thompson was arrested on charges he had two sexual encounters with a student at his Lakeland home. The girl told her friend about the encounters and the friend told her parents, who then alerted the girls’ parents. An investigation by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office revealed that Thompson and the girl had flirted with each other and had been texting each other. The girl told detectives she had met Thompson at school, where he had taught one of her classes in early 2011.

sports@sentinel-echo.com

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