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News and Investigations

News & Investigations

News Releases and Public Information

Welcome to the Polk County Sheriff's Office News Room, where the Public Information Officers (PIO's) post all of the information that they release to the news media. PIO's act as liaisons between news media organizations and the Sheriff's Office. The PIO's routinely release timely and accurate information and Crime Stoppers bulletins, and respond to routine and "breaking news" media inquiries. News releases and Crime Stoppers information can be found on this page.

PCSO's full-time Public Information Officers are Brian Bruchey, Carrie Horstman, and Alicia Manautou. The Public Information Officers can be reached by sending an e-mail collectively at

The recent news releases sent out by the PIOs can be found here, and archived releases (older than 2017) can be found here.

Sep 15, 2023

Lakeland High School track coach arrested by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office for sexual battery on a juvenile student

Media Contact: Brian Bruchey, PIO

Detectives from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit arrested a Lakeland High School track coach following an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct with a 16-year-old boy.

Click here to see the news conference on our YouTube page:

On Thursday, September 14, 2023, 40-year old Jarvis Young was taken into custody by PCSO detectives and charged with: Sexual Battery by Custodian/Victim between 12-18 (F1), Lewd & Lascivious by 24yr or Older with Victim 16 or 17 (F3), Abuse of a Child w/o Bodily Harm (F3), Interfere with Custody of Minor (F3), and HIV Infected Person Has Sex w/o Informing Partner (F3).

The investigation began on August 28th, after the victim, a student at Lakeland High School, told the School Resource Deputy about sexual contact initiated by Young. The victim elaborated in an interview that Young was giving the victim a massage, moved the victim’s shorts and touched the victim’s penis with his hand and then his lips while attempting to perform oral sex on the victim. The victim said he jumped up and stopped Young.

According to the victim, the incident occurred two days prior while the two were in a school building. 

“Jarvis Young is a predator—he likes children in a way that no adult should, and he used his position of authority to take advantage of a child for his own illicit sexual gratification. He needs to be locked-up and never be allowed unsupervised near children again.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff 

In 2011, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office charged Young with conspiracy to commit sexual battery by a person in authority after he and a co-conspirator were accused of picking up two juveniles they were mentoring, and drove them to Orlando where the victims were sexually battered. The case was later No-Billed by the State Attorney’s Office due to the statute of limitations. 

In 2017, another juvenile reported to the Lakeland Police Department that Young had touched his thigh and unzipped his pants before the juvenile ran away. There were no criminal charges in that case.

PCSO detectives learned that Young had travelled to Alabama while the case was being investigated, and upon his return he was arrested. 

Detectives believe there is a possibility that there are additional victims of Jarvis Young who have not yet come forward, and urge them to contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 863-298-6200. 

“I appreciate the work of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office to investigate this matter, and take the necessary steps to protect students from further harm.

Our students and families should expect to be safe in the presence of school employees and coaches. The allegations against Jarvis Young are deeply disturbing. Although he was never convicted of any past incidents, I am extremely troubled that he was involved with our school system in any capacity.

PCPS will be conducting a thorough investigation into how Young was allowed to become a coach for Lakeland High. We also will be pulling a list and re-screening coaches who work with PCPS students, as well as other individuals who work with students in extracurricular programs. Furthermore, we intend to increase the frequency of our background checks and add extra measures to evaluate any past reports of inappropriate behavior.  

PCPS will continue to cooperate fully with the Sheriff’s Office on this investigation. We encourage anyone with information about Jarvis Young to contact PCSO. 

We will take a hard look at the circumstances that resulted in this individual working alongside students. I will do everything in my power to prevent this from happening again.” –
Polk County Public Schools Superintendent Fred Heid 

According to Polk County Public Schools, Jarvis Young no longer has any involvement with PCPS. He became a volunteer coach in December 2020 and was paid a stipend.