A teacher who also coached football has been arrested for sexual misconduct with minors at two schools where he worked in Hillsborough County, Livingstone Academy and Valrico High School. Matthew Hike was initially arrested on Thursday, March 24, 2022, for allegedly inappropriately touching a 15-year old male student and showing pornographic content. According to news reports, Matthew Hike, age 33, was arrested at his home in Riverview. He was released on bail but is now facing criminal charges on five counts of lewd or lascivious molestation and three counts of selling or distributing obscene material to a minor. He was then arrested again on April 6, 2022 for charges that on more than fifty occasions he molested one of his football players at Bloomingdale High School in Valrico.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office released a press statement noting that the incidents occurred at Livingstone Academy, located in Seffner, Florida. Staff members at Livingstone Academy, a Christian school for children with learning disabilities, reached out to HCSO after the grandmother of a fifteen year old student reported that a teacher had inappropriately touched her grandchild at the school. After a thorough investigation, detectives identified the teacher and found that Hike shared several images of pornographic nature with the student. During an interview with law enforcement, Hike admitted to showing the pornographic images and then deleting the message.
HCSO stated that Matthew Hike did not have the student in his class but encountered the teenager in the hallways. Hike was also an assistant football coach at Bloomingdale High School; however, a district spokesperson said he was a paid volunteer and is no longer allowed to volunteer with the district. Investigators said a juvenile victim said Hike molested him more than 50 times while coaching his football team at Bloomingdale High School in Valrico.
Schools are educational institutions in which children can learn and develop skills in a nurturing environment. It is expected that they are safe from violence, bullying, harassment, and sexual abuse. Teachers and coaches are entrusted to facilitate learning and support the educational needs of their students. Someone who sexually violates young children has no place working in the school system. Any school in which such a crime is committed should take responsibility if they fail to properly screen potential teachers and protect their students.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse in schools and other educational settings. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped, or sexually molested by a principal, teacher, or another school employee, contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer, Adam Horowitz, at email@example.com for a free consultation.