MANATEE -- The pretrial date for former Manatee High School assistant football coach Rod Frazier, charged with battery in a case involving female students, has been set for Jan. 2.
Manatee County Circuit Judge Doug Henderson agreed to Frazier attorney Edwin Mulock's request to not set the pre-trial hearing any sooner on his client's misdemeanor charges.
Frazier, a former parent liaison at Manatee High School, is facing 10 misdemeanor charges -- three counts of interference of a student's school attendance and seven counts of battery. Mulock asked that Frazier be tried for each charge separately, meaning a total of 10 trials. No actual trial dates have been set.
Frazier was charged with battery in an investigation into whether he had inappropriate relationships with female students at Manatee High School. The misdemeanor battery charges cover allegations he inappropriately touched other adults -- staff members at Manatee High -- as well as four students.
"We still have to hear from 40-some witnesses. We will never get that done before then, especially with the holidays," Mulock said Tuesday.
The hearing for separate trials, along with motions to obtain depositions and for partial court costs, is scheduled for Nov. 15.
Mulock says in his motion that the counts of interfering with a student's attendance and the counts of battery are "separate distinct offenses" and are "not related in any way whatsoever." Mulock said
the counts of battery should be severed because they are separate episodes.
Frazier resigned from his position at Manatee High after being charged.
The investigation led to felony charges being filed against four Manatee School district administrators for allegedly failing to report child abuse.
Robert Gagnon, former Manatee High principal and assistant superintendent, and assistant principals Gregg Faller and Matthew Kane each face one felony count of failing to report child abuse, one misdemeanor count of failing to report child abuse and one misdemeanor count of giving a false report to police.
Debra Horne, former school district investigator, is also charged with one felony count of failing to report child abuse.
All four have pleaded not guilty.
Erica Earl, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081.