OKEECHOBEE, Fla. — Detectives are searching for a 31-year-old former teacher and soccer coach at Okeechobee High School who is accused of having a sexual relationship with a teenage girl.
The Osceola County Sheriff's Office said Omar Ayala's lifelong friend, former Deputy Arturo Dominguez, helped him get away.
"He told a suspect in a sex case involving a minor to flee," Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez said. "That's pretty disgusting."
According to Lopez, during an investigation into Ayala, Dominguez tapped into a law enforcement database and ran Ayala's name to see if there was a warrant for his arrest.
"He wanted to give his friend a heads up, so Ayala would know if the police were looking for him," Lopez said.
Dominguez was promptly questioned, fired and arrested.
The victim's mother contacted the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office after she said she discovered racy text messages in her daughter's phone between Ayala and 36-year-old school pastor Donny Raney.
Okeechobee County Sheriff Noel Stephen said Dominguez's interference made investigating this case that much more difficult.
"Extremely difficult, it even points the finger more so if he had any potential to defend himself or speak up for himself," Stephen said. "His actions now speak volumes."
The whereabouts of Ayala are currently unknown.
Dominguez is facing four felonies including obstructing an investigation and unauthorized access to computers or devices. The pastor faces one count of obscenity offenses.