Former soccer coach charged with molestation

PALM COAST, Fla. – Sean Douglas Stern, 35, a former traveling soccer coach with ties to youth soccer programs around the state and the Jacksonville Armada, was arrested Thursday by U.S. marshals in Tacoma, Washington, and charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation as an authority figure of a school.

Stern is accused of molesting two boys between 12 and 16 years old on several occasions at multiple locations in Flagler County between January 2015 and April 2016. Detectives filed a nationwide warrant Oct. 19 for Sterns's arrest and he was located on Thursday. 

Detectives began investigating Stern in April after he was fired from a Palm Coast soccer school called Professional Sports Pathways, which has since closed. Stern lived in Flagler Beach before moving to Seattle.

Stern has also coached youth programs at the Player Development Academy, a soccer club in Palm Coast and at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach. In addition, Stern was a player development coach with the Armada FC United, where he worked with kids who aspired to be soccer players. 

Authorities said he also worked for or was affiliated with other soccer at Matanzas High School, West Ham International Academy and Pure FC. He has connections to soccer programs throughout Florida, as well as in Texas and North Carolina.

The Jacksonville Armada issued a statement Friday saying they are aware of Stern's arrest.

Stern has never been employed by the Jacksonville Armada FC or the Armada FC Youth Academy. Stern served as an assistant coach for an All-Star team at a U-19 tournament in December 2015, which comprised of players from several clubs across Florida, including the Armada Youth Academy.

"This was the only time that he came in contact with Armada Youth Academy players and we are not aware of any incidences that took place on that trip."

Amanda Sammons, a nanny who has cared for several children who played are area soccer clubs, believes she has seen Stern on Palm Coast's Parks and Recreation fields.

"I've seen that guy before," Sammons said when shown Stern's photo. "They actually play soccer over here. That's where I've probably seen him before."

The Sheriff’s Office asked anyone whose male child participated in soccer programs with Stern to talk to their children and find out whether they have been victimized or may have information about Stern. All information about Stern should be provided to FCSO Detective Fuentes at 386-586-4890. Callers can remain anonymous by contacting Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 888-277-8477 (TIPS).

Stern remains held without bail at the Pierce County Jail in Tacoma.

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