Broward cheerleading coach had inappropriate relationship with teen, authorities say

The U.S. Marshals Service recently arrested Raul Albites, 38, on accusations of having an inappropriate relationship with a minor.

DAVIE, Fla. – The U.S. Marshals Service recently arrested Raul Albites, 38, on accusations of having an inappropriate relationship with a minor, and if convicted, Albites faces a possible mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum sentence of up to life in prison.

He was taken into custody April 19 and is being held at the Broward County Main Jail.

In the court documents, it says Albites was the owner, operator, and head coach at a Broward Elite Gym, located in Davie. However, Wayne Suess was the owner of the Broward Elite Gym and says the federal paperwork was incorrect. He says Albites was only an employee/coach, not an owner or operator.

The gym shut down in 2020 because of COVID-19, but now one of its former employees, Albites, is facing federal charges for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a young girl he was coaching.

According to the detention order, Albites met the victim, then 11 years old, when she began cheerleading training at the gym after school and during private coaching sessions.

“We were completely appalled. we’ve been running this business since 2006 and our focus has always been on the safety and the progression of the children,” Suess said.

Initially, Albites and the victim had a “father-daughter” relationship, but the relationship subsequently progressed into inappropriate texting and FaceTiming on an almost daily basis, authorities said.

Authorities said Albites’ conduct led the victim to believe that the two were in a romantic relationship, saying things to her like, “I want to be your boyfriend,” and “I see you as my girl.”

He even seemed to know he was in the wrong, messaging her, “I have everything to lose to be with you,” the report stated.

The court report shows through text messages, FaceTime, and in person, Albites told the victim that he would leave his wife when the victim turned 18 so they could get married, and told the victim that he loved her.

In the summer of 2020, when the victim had just turned 16 years old, Albites attempted to “digitally penetrate her vagina” and touched her breasts and buttocks, authorities said.

The teen’s mother discovered the relationship on Aug. 15, 2020, when she and her daughter were helping Albites and his wife move out of Broward Elite Gym.

“My recommendation for all parents is to be watchful mindful,” Suess said.

On that occasion, the victim’s mother told police that she witnessed Albites embracing and kissing her daughter behind the gym near a trash dumpster. When Albites was confronted by the mother, he claimed that this was a misunderstanding and that the victim was “just kissing him on the cheek,” the court report stated.

The mother later looked through her daughter’s cellphone and discovered texts between the teen and Albites, authorities said.

According to the court document, the court found “clear and convincing evidence that Albites presents a danger to the community and that there are no conditions or combination of conditions that will reasonably assure the safety of others and the community if Albites is released prior to trial.”

No trial date has been set.

About the Authors:

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.