A Key West High School senior and standout athlete accused of having sex with another male student five years younger was arrested Tuesday.
Elliot Valdez, 20, of the 1600 block of Morgan Court, was charged with second-degree felony lewd and lascivious offense on a person less than 16 years old. Second-degree felonies are punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison.
Valdez is accused of having "consensual" sex with the younger student when he was 19 and the other student was 14, according to a police incident report.
The report states that Valdez initially denied knowing the other student, but then admitted having sex with the student when pressed by detectives, who told him they had already spoken to the younger student.
That student told police, after telling the school resource officer, that he had consensual sex on several occasions with Valdez in June 2012 and that they had "a regular relationship," according to the police report.
The younger student told police they had "protected sex" at Valdez's house.
Valdez was taken to Monroe County Detention Center on Stock Island and let go Tuesday on pretrial release, meaning he does not have to post bail as long as he appears in court and adheres to other conditions of his release, according to jail records.
Last football season, The Citizen named Valdez the Monroe County Player of the Year, and the paper also ranked him an All-County basketball player three times.
"I've known him all his life," said his basketball coach of the past two years, Anton Lopez. "He is a hard worker and always respectful."
While Valdez is only about 5-foot-9, his bulk allowed him to be an efficient rebounder, according to The Citizen article. Valdez also played point guard and often guarded the opponent's best player.
In football, he was a defensive lineman his junior year, then moved to fullback his senior year, when he led the team in rushing with 869 yards on 120 carries for a 7.2-yards per carry average.
His advanced age was a hindrance earlier this season when he was restricted from playing. But the Eligibility Board of the Florida High School Athletic Association reinstated Valdez in January.
Citizen Sports Editor Ralph Morrow contributed to this report.