SEBRING — Former Avon Park Middle School teacher Kevin Dewberry could be seeking a plea agreement on the criminal charges for lewd and lascivious behavior, which involved a 13-year-old female student.
Dewberry’s pretrial conference on April 17 was continued and a plea hearing was scheduled for June 3 with Judge Peter Estrada presiding.
Dewberry, who was also an APMS basketball coach, offered a plea of “not guilty” on all charges at his arraignment in March at the Highlands County Courthouse.
He was terminated from The School Board of Highlands County in early April 2018. The student victim in the lewd/lascivious behavior case told authorities that she and Dewberry began a relationship in 2017.
A 13-year-old Avon Park Middle School student told investigators that the best evidence of her relationship with a coach/teacher would be sexually explicit images she had sent to the teacher and the images he had taken while the two were engaged in sexual activity, according to a Highlands County Sheriff’s Office report.
With a search warrant, the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office seized Dewberry’s cellphone, which had many nude and sexually inappropriate videos of the student, an arrest report shows.
Dewberry had been employed with the School Board for 13 years overall.
He was initially hired in 2004 and taught at Hill-Gustat Middle School for two years before taking a job at the Hopewell Academy charter school, where he served as the head administrator. He returned to the school district in the 2008-09 school year, teaching at Memorial Elementary School until June 2013, when he moved to Avon Park Middle School.
Dewberry was also a boys basketball coach at Avon Park High School and in 2018 was a girls basketball coach at Avon Park Middle School.
Dewberry remains in the Highlands County Jail with bond set at $400,000 on the charges of four counts of lewd/lascivious behavior with a victim between the ages of 12 and 16, and the bond set at $550,000 on subsequent charges of 55 counts of possession of child pornography.