Former swim coach charged with sexual exploitation released from jail

ORANGE PARK, Fla. — Mitchell Bentz was released from jail Tuesday after he turned himself in Monday for allegedly trying to lure a 17-year-old to have sex and sending her lewd messages and pictures.

Action News Jax first reported the arrest Monday.

According to the arrest report, Bentz turned himself in and admitted what he did was wrong and illegal.

He was released and will have a GPS monitor, according to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.

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Bentz was a former part-time swimming coach at St. Johns Country Day School.

According to the arrest report, he met a 17-year-old at a local grocery store and later messaged her on Snapchat. Bentz is accused of sending several lewd messages and pictures of himself to the victim.

The St. Johns Country Day School said in a message to parents that none of its students were targeted by Bentz.

Action News Jax spoke with Nancy Hogshead-Makar, a decorated 1984 Olympics champion and CEO of Champion Women. Hogshead-Makar advocates to stop sexual abuse in sports.

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She said parents must talk to their kids and teach them when to speak up.

“You want to encourage the kid to say no — this idea of obedience and compliance is really dangerous. You don’t want that part of the sports culture,” she said.

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