Well-Respected Miami Gardens Track Coach Charged With Child Molestation and Sexual Battery

A South Florida woman has come forward to receive justice for her two daughters who were molested by a well-respected and nationally known track coach.

45-year-old Darius Lawshea was caught on home surveillance video in January roaming the halls of a Miami Gardens home.

The homeowner who was asked to not be identified said that it was “A tense moment, especially to see him going in her room.”

The mother said that her daughter locked herself in the bathroom and called her on the phone. She said, “That’s when she told me that he was in the house, and she was afraid to come out of the bathroom.”

The home surveillance video is now evidence in the case against the head coach of Miami Gardens Xpress Track and Field.

The mother said, “I really trusted him. He was so helpful, so I really thought that he was a friend.” She added, “In reality, he was just using me to hurt my kids.”

On Sunday, Lawshea surrendered to the police. On Monday, he made his first court appearance.

Lawshea’s attorney said, “This is an individual who is going to fight for his innocence.”

The track coach faces two counts of child molestation and three counts of sexual battery on a minor.

Both victims were former members of Lawshea’s track club, and both allege that the abuse started at the age of 14.

The mother said, “My youngest daughter had made accusations, stating that he was touching her and he was molesting her.” She mentioned how the alleged abuse took place last year.

Months later, when she went to the police, her older daughter, now 24, came forward and stated that she was also raped by Lawshea 10 years ago.

“He was a pillar of the community, and she didn’t believe that anyone would believe her,” said the mother.

The mother believes that the surveillance video demonstrates a pattern: Lawshea going to their home when her teenage daughter was alone.

What Lawshea didn’t know was that he was already under investigation.

The mother said, “He told me, ‘I was just checking up on stuff.’ I told him, ‘No, don’t check up on stuff and don’t come to my house moving forward.'”

Since then the family has not had any contact with Lawshea. The victim’s mother says that she is thankful that his now in jail, and she regrets that it didn’t happen sooner.

She said, “If he did it to my two daughters, there’s other children out there who are going through the same thing.” She added, “Nobody should have to go through this: no children, no parent, especially from somebody that they instilled their trust in.”

According to the arrest report, at least one more alleged victim has come forward.

Lawshea has been denied bond on all three of the counts against him and remains behind bars.

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