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2 more victims come forward with sexual abuse accusations against track coach

New charges filed against track coach as 2 additional victims come forward
New charges filed against track coach as 2 additional victims come forward

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Two more victims have come forward with sexual abuse accusations against a well-known track coach in Miami Gardens.

According to an arrest affidavit, one of the victims claimed Darius Lawshea, 45, coach of the Miami Gardens Xpress track club, molested her on numerous occasions.

Police said the victim reported the accusations on Tuesday at the Miami Gardens Police Department.

The victim said Lawshea intentionally touched her vagina over and under her clothing on numerous occasions when she was in middle school and later when she was 15.

The incidents occurred in Clearwater, as well as in his apartment and inside his truck, authorities said.

According to the report, similar accusations were made against the coach in 2012, but the victim said she didn’t speak up because of the adverse reaction she expected to receive from her peers.

A second victim went to the police department on Friday and reported that Lawshea raped her inside his truck when she was 15.

According to the victim, Lawshea was training her because she was aspiring to run track.

She told authorities that Lawshea called her cellphone one day and asked to pick her up and take her to Myrtle Grove Park so they could talk.

On the way to the park, Lawshea began telling the teen she was pretty and gorgeous and asked if she wanted to perform oral sex on him, the report stated.

The victim said she told him, “no,” but he held her down, told her to “relax” and raped her.

After the incident, Lawshea allegedly told the victim “I got you for whatever you need, like money,” the young woman told authorities.

Four other victims have also made similar accusations against Lawshea, dating back to 2010.

Lawshea faces various charges, including sexual battery, lewd and lascivious molestation of a minor and taking obscene pictures of a minor.

Tobe Nwahiri, an attorney for Lawshea, released the following statement Wednesday:

“My client and I are just being informed about these new accusations. Mr. Lawshea is a well respected member of the community who has made a lasting impact on many youth in South Florida, some who are now adults. Since information was spread to the public regarding this investigation, my client has received an outpouring of support from members of the community and others across the nation; those who know his character. My client appreciates the support, and maintains that he is innocent. Should charges be filed, my client intends on entering a plea of not guilty.”

About the Authors:

Amanda Batchelor is the managing editor for Local10.com.

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.