Putnam school employee, coach arrested on sexual assault of 13-year-old

Putnam County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Freddie Taylor
Putnam County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Freddie Taylor

PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. – A Putnam County school system employee and volunteer basketball coach has been arrested on a charge of sexual assault of a 13-year-old.

Freddie Taylor, 21, works in the cafeteria at James A. Long Elementary School and volunteers with the Beasley Middle School basketball program.

Putnam County Superintendent Phyllis Criswell said whatever happened did not happen at the school, though it's unclear if the victim is a student.

"Well, at this point, the employee has been suspended with pay," Criswell said. "Legally, that is what we do until a full investigation is completed. Our Sheriff's Department is working on that investigation. Hopefully they will give me a full written report soon."

The Sheriff's Office would not release its report on the arrest or comment, other than to say it's and ongoing case and investigators believe there is only one victim.

Faculty at the elementary school say Taylor is around students, but not all the time. Officials say he does have direct access to students at the middle school as a volunteer coach.

No one was at Taylor's home Friday.

Parents at the schools were reluctant to comment. The superintendent said she is trying to find out more information as well.

"In any situation, the safety of our students is our utmost priority," Criswell said. "That is what we are doing here. I have my entire school safety and security team. We are on this. And until we get something from the sheriff's department, we can't move forward, nor can I comment any further."

Taylor was being held in the Putnam County jail with bail set at $25,004.