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Police: Lake Worth Middle School teacher molested player on traveling soccer team

Posted: 11:06 AM, May 21, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-24 19:27:33Z
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LAKE WORTH, Fla. — The Department of Children and Families has opened a child protective investigation into a Palm Beach County middle school teacher and area soccer coach who was arrested for lewd and lascivious behavior with a child.

Richard Woolcock, a teacher at Lake Worth Middle School, was traveling with an outside soccer league when investigators say the alleged abuse happened.

According to his arrest report, 33-year-old Richard Woolcock committed the crime while the soccer team he coached was staying at a hotel in Altamonte Springs earlier this month.

A player said he was laying in bed with Woolcock, who he calls a "father figure," and watching a show on Netflix.

The player said Woolcock is a "cuddler," and they were cuddling together with Woolcock's arm behind the player's head.

According to a police report, Woolcock asked the player if he wanted to go to sleep with him. The player agreed and later told police it wasn't unusual because he's slept in the same bed with Woolcock approximately four times at other travel events.

The alleged victim said he was "awoken to Woolcock's hand in his pants." Woolcock was touching the player inappropriately in his private parts, according to a police report.

The player said he was scared, and eventually grabbed Woolcock's wrist and moved it away.

"An incident had occurred this past weekend involving one of the coaches in our program. The coach has been suspended indefinitely by the RPB Soccer program, Florida Youth Soccer Association, US Youth Soccer Association and US Soccer Federation pending the outcome of the coach's legal issues. At this time no other information is available. Please respect any ongoing law enforcement investigations and/or related legal proceedings. Thank you."

Police said the alleged victim left the hotel and walked to a nearby restaurant. Woolcock followed him and at one point asked, "Can we talk?"

At the restaurant, a waitress said she noticed the player was emotional and crying and asked him if he was OK. The player told her he was sexually assaulted by his coach, the arrest report stated.

The waitress said Woolcock was standing outside the restaurant, so she called 911. Officers arrived minutes later.

According to a police report, the alleged victim attempted to call family members before going to the restaurant, and also called the National Sexual Abuse Hotline.

Detectives said Woolcock refused to answer any questions.

A parent who did not want to be identified sent WPTV a message that parents received from the Royal Palm Beach soccer league.

"An incident had occurred this past weekend involving one of the coaches in our program. The coach has been suspended indefinitely by the RPB Soccer program, Florida Youth Soccer Association, US Youth Soccer Association and US Soccer Federation pending the outcome of the coach's legal issues. At this time no other information is available. Please respect any ongoing law enforcement investigations and/or related legal proceedings. Thank you."

The Royal Palm Beach soccer league would not answer any of WPTV's questions, and instead directed us to the Florida Youth Soccer Association.

Woolcock is facing charges of lewd and lascivious behavior by a person over 18 years old. He posted his $20,000 bond and was released from jail.

A spokesperson for the Palm Beach County School District does not believe the alleged victim is a student at Lake Worth Middle School and said Woolcock is "removed from the school and will not have student contact during the investigations."

School records show Woolcock does not coach any sports at Lake Worth Middle School. His most recent school coaching job was at Wellington High School, but he has not coached there in at least two years, a spokesperson said.