Local soccer coach arrested on charges of sexual battery on minor

PLANTATION, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida soccer coach who was arrested earlier this week is facing some serious allegations involving the abuse of a minor.

Forty-three-year old Juan “John” Ramos has been charged with four counts of sexual battery of a minor over the age of 12.

Ramos is the director of coaching for the Plantation Soccer Club and Kendall Soccer Coalition. He is also a former head coach of the American Heritage Soccer Program.

Plantation FC Soccer Commissioner Lee Levenberg released a statement that reads, “Coach Ramos has been suspended indefinitely from Plantation Soccer pending the outcome of the investigation of allegations against him.”

According to police, the abuse progressed over a span of several years, beginning from the time the victim was only 13 years old, in 2003. Ramos was the girl’s substitute teacher and soccer coach at American Heritage when he was hired to give her private soccer lessons.

According to the arrest report, the abuse progressed from tickling and wrestling to oral sex. Then, the report said, when the victim was 16 years old, he forcibly had sex with her on American Heritage’s campus.

Ramos, now 43 years old, was currently the coaching director at the Plantation Eagles Soccer League where he has coached for more than 11 years. He is a well known local soccer player who played for the Miami Fusion soccer league.

Levenberg said he was unaware of any wrongdoing by Ramos. “I was contacted by the Plantation Police Department. I know nothing about the incident,” he said. “I’m shocked. This is the first I’m hearing this. He was a very, very talented coach and well liked.”

Levenberg also mentioned his plans to speak with parents. “When you have hundreds and hundreds of parents, it’s very difficult to have that kind of a meeting, but we will have meetings team by team, and we will communicate by e-mail with all the parents.”

Ramos has admitted to the encounter, said police, but Plantation Police believe there may be other victims.

Ramos is being held at the North Broward Jail without bond.

If you have any information on this case or know of any other victims, please call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.

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