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Ex-Palm Coast Soccer Academy Coach Arrested on Molestation Charges Involving Two Boys

| October 28, 2016

Sean Stern, left, during a soccer academy staff meeting with parents and students in Palm Coast last October. Ryan Maloney, then director of the academy, is to the right. (© FlaglerLive)

Sean Stern, left, during a soccer academy staff meeting with parents and students in Palm Coast last October. Ryan Maloney, then director of the academy, is to the right. (© FlaglerLive)

Sean Stern, the former program director at the recently defunct Palm Coast’s Professional Sports Pathways, a specialized soccer academy for youths, was arrested Thursday on two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation charges, six months after he was fired from the academy because of suspicious activity there. The charges relate to allegations of molestation of two male victims between age 12 and 16 on multiple occasions, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.

Stern, 35, last a resident of 422 South Central Avenue in Flagler Beach, had left the county, and was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Tacoma, Washington, where he was booked at the Pierce County jail on no bond.

A heavily censored sheriff’s incident report released today and dating back to April notes that the evening of April 14, a sheriff’s deputy went to Stern’s residence in Flagler Beach, the day after Ryan Maloney, head of the Palm Coast academy, fired him “due to this suspicious activity.” The activity is not specified in the uncensored portion of the report, but a sheriff’s release notes that the alleged molestations had taken place “at multiple locations within
Flagler County between January 2015 and April 2016.”

sean stern arrest molestation charges

Sean Stern.

Professional Sports Pathways’ Center of Excellence is a specialized private school that offers students a full curriculum of instruction centered on soccer and player development, for $4,500 a year in tuition. The school had some 60 students last October. It had operated out of an old bank building at the old Palm Harbor shopping center until recently, gained exposure last year when it was among the bidders to take over the Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club. The school board did not accept that proposal. The school had a core staff of soccer coaches, several of them from England, including Maloney. It had plans to move out of the bank building into a property of its own, but has since closed: it last posted on its Twitter account in late June and on its website, which is still live, in April. Maloney did not return calls and an email Thursday.

According to the sheriff’s release, detectives began investigating Stern in April, after he was fired and moved to Seattle. Stern, the release states, has also coached at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach and been affiliated with Matanzas High School, Jacksonville Armada, FC United, West Ham International Academy and Pure FC. He has ties to soccer programs throughout Florida, as well as in Texas and North Carolina.

Flagler County schools spokesman Jason Wheeler, however, wrote that “According to our records, Sean Stern has never been employed by Flagler Schools. However, we understand the soccer community in Flagler County is large and crosses many boundaries. We encourage our parents to speak with their children. We also want it parents to know our schools have professional counselors available to help if needed.”

The Sheriff’s Office urges anyone whose male child participated in soccer programs with Stern to talk to their children and find out whether they have been victimized or who may have vital information about Stern. All information about Stern should be provided to sheriff’s Detective Jorge Fuentes at (386) 586-4890. Detectives are also seeking any information on Stern that the public may have. Callers can remain anonymous by contacting Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at (888) 277-8477 (TIPS).

9 Responses for “Ex-Palm Coast Soccer Academy Coach Arrested on Molestation Charges Involving Two Boys”

  1. Chelsea Hawk says:

    Disgusting. I hope they lock this guy up for a good long time.

  2. lenamarshall says:

    Let s remember he is only been accused not charged ,

  3. Angela says:

    You mean charged but not yet convicted

  4. David says:

    He absolutely coached on the sideline for Matanzas. Maybe off the official record, but he was most definitely there.

  5. MannyHM says:

    He should be considered innocent until proven guilty. A difficult case indeed because there are no video, DNA can’t be used, and alleged victim can can be coached to concoct false allegations. True or not, the name and reputation of this guy is ruined.

  6. Concerned citizen says:

    I agree that you are innocent until proven guilty in court. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t do it. Talk to your kids if they were around him. He’s very clever and has had lots of opportunities to do this. Read the above forum and see for yourself. Florida looks like the tip of the iceburg.

  7. Gman says:

    Shaking my head at Manny, do you think the authorities charged him because they don’t have enough evidence? Never once do you mention or even consider the damage he may have done. Your concern is about his reputation?

  8. Kyle kelley says:

    A man is not guilty until proven guilty, which one of you is whith out sin. None of us. Not me not you. I know Sean personally I am hoping that this is not true, he was a long time member of my church . My prayer is that this is not true. My prayer is that God gives every wisdom and guidance on this matter .

  9. Someone who knows better says:

    Everything indicates this is true, sadly. My prayer is that he gets help and is not ever in a situation again that tempts him. My prayer is that his victims, those that have come forward, and those that can’t, are able to find peace, and learn to live with what he stole from them. My prayer is that he can one day find peace and forgive himself and ask those he has wronged to forgive him. Yes, he has done terrible things. But maybe he was once a victim too.

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