BRADENTON - After learning Manatee High School assistant football coach Rod Frazier will face battery and interference charges, his attorney Ed Mulock was defiant.
"To me, its crazy," said Mulock on Monday. "It really surprises that I'm here defending misdemeanors."
District officials also announced they will re-open their own investigation into Frazier, which had been suspended while a criminal investigation took place.
"We take all matters with concern around suspected abuse either of our students or employees very seriously," said Superintendent Rick Mills.
The charges stem from allegations made against Frazier by students and district staffers. Among the initial complaints, one student claimed Frazier asked for nude pictures of her via text message.
"We're dealing with partially rumors, we're dealing with hysterical young girls sometimes," said Mulock. He denies that Frazier committed any wrongdoing.
"I've been to the high school many times, its not unusual to see a teacher give a child a hug, or a coach give a, pat a player on the behind," said Mulock, "I don't know so I guess all of that is out from now on, I think it's miscommunication."
Mills also said that every district employee will now undergo mandatory training for reporting suspected cases of abuse.
"All our employees should be aware of what the requirements are in identifying, evaluating it in terms of does it meet the criteria for reporting suspected child abuse," said Mills.
Despite what Mulock believes are weak charges, he doesn't think his client will want to return to his job anyway.
"I don't think he's going to go back into coaching, and he's been tarnished so bad I don't know that they would want him back in there," said Mulock.
Frazier's court date is set for August 8. He is currently on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the school district's internal investigation.