MANATEE — Manatee High School quarterback Joshua Meyer was arrested Monday night and is facing charges of lewd and lascivious battery on a 15-year-old girl, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
Meyer, 17, the starting quarterback on last year’s team, was arrested at 8:13 p.m. Monday after the girl reported the incident to law enforcement earlier that day.
Investigators say that Meyer was at a party with the victim on Saturday, where they both drank alcoholic beverages. Meyer and the girl reportedly began kissing and then she told him to stop, according to a sheriff’s office report.
Meyer grabbed the victim, pulled her into the bathroom, turned off the lights and locked the door, the report stated. Once inside the bathroom, Meyer reportedly tried taking her pants off but she asked him to stop.
After his arrest, Meyer admitted to having some sexual contact with her but denied raping her, according to the sheriff’s office. Meyer’s mother reached out to the Bradenton Herald to maintain her son’s innocence. On Tuesday morning, Manatee County school district officials were informed of Meyer’s arrest.
“Neither the incident in which the alleged felony occurred, nor the arrest, took place on school district property,” Manatee County school district spokesman Steve Valley. “In accordance with school district procedures, since the student arrested was charged with a felony, that student will be re-assigned to an alternative school until this matter is resolved.”
School district officials will cooperate with law enforcement’s investigation, Valley said, but will not comment further until the case is settled.
The arrest continues a year of unprecedented legal scrutiny involving Manatee High School athletics.
Former running backs coach Rod Frazier will go to trial June 2 involving one of seven misdemeanor charges of battery involving former female students and school employees as well as three misdemeanor charges of interfering with a student's attendance.
He has pleaded not guilty and will be granted separate trials for the charges.
Former Manatee High School Principal Bob Gagnon and former assistant principals Matthew Kane and Gregg Faller also face charges of failure to report child abuse in the Frazier case.
School district officials will cooperate with the Meyer investigation, Valley said, but will not comment further until the case is resolved.
Neither head football coach Joe Kinnan nor quarterbacks coach Chris Conboy were available for comment Tuesday.
Meyer was 95 of 152 for 1,156 yards, 11 touchdowns and six interceptions for last year's 11-1 team.