On Thursday, September 5, 2013, PCSO Special Victims Unit detectives arrested 52-year-old Michael Cope of 2245 Avenue C SW in Winter Haven for one count Lewd/Lascivious Molestation after investigation revealed he intentionally and inappropriately touched a 15-year-old female student against her will at the school where he works, Lake Region High School in Eagle Lake.
Cope is the girls' varsity basketball coach at the school, and an ESE para-instructor. Cope was arrested today when he responded to the PCSO Sheriff's Operations Center to talk to PCSO detectives about the allegations. Cope admitted to detectives that he inappropriately touched the victim, and he knew it was wrong.
He is now in the county jail.
Cope has been in the Polk County Jail on four prior occasions:
1992 - Aggravated Assault, Battery Domestic Violence
1996 - Worthless Check
1997 - 3 counts Worthless Check, 1 count DUI