Former Royal Palm Beach high teacher, coach jailed on charges of luring child
Friday, December 07, 2012
by Alexandra Seltzer
Former Royal Palm Beach High School teacher John R. Springer at the end of August told a 17-year-old student whom he coached on the volleyball team that he had something to tell her, but he couldn’t write or text it.
He called her that night, according to Palm Beach County School District Police, and told her she was “hot” and he liked her personality.
The attraction soon escalated into him sending nude pictures to the teen. At the 27-year-old teacher’s request, the teen sent nude pictures to him.
Springer now faces criminal charges of using a computer to solicit a minor and three counts of transmitting material harmful to minors.
The Royal Palm Beach resident was arrested Thursday and released from the Palm Beach County Jail after posting a $12,000 bond.
Springer was hired as a teacher at Royal Palm Beach High this school year, but was terminated Nov. 7 during his probationary period. He previously worked as a volleyball coach at Seminole Ridge High.
“Our detectives did a great job working with everyone involved,” said Larry Leon, the school district’s police chief.
The home-schooled student said that after the phone conversation with Springer, he told her twice not to tell anyone because “he knew it was wrong” but he “could not help who he was attracted to,” a school police probable cause affidavit says.
The teen told police in late October that her volleyball coach was flirting with her and making sexual comments. He texted her, she told police, and said he was starting to feel comfortable with his attraction. He told her how “good” she looked in her volleyball uniform and that he wanted her to “feel his body,” the affidavit says.
Later that week, Springer sent the nude pictures. “Do you like what you see?” he asked the teen about the pictures sent to her cell phone, according to the affidavit. The teen said yes, and sent him nude and partially nude pictures in return.
Springer’s attitude soon changed and told her to delete the photos and texts.
When detectives spoke with him on Nov. 2, Springer admitted to telling the teen in August that he was attracted to her but couldn’t tell her in a text message because he knew the feelings were wrong. He also admitted to feeling guilty after the teen sent him nude pictures because he knew that she was only 17.
Police say Springer said he told the teen to delete all pictures and texts because he “did not want any of what they did or discussed to come back up” as he knew the relationship would “affect his job, livelihood, and career.”