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Minister and Coach Arrested on Separate Molestation Charges

Incidents in Frostproof and Lakeland Lead to FElony Charges

Two instances of molestation of children by adult authority figures, a minister and a coach, have resulted in the arrest of two individuals by the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

Courtesy Polk County Sheriff's Office

Richard Shaw, a Wyoming minister and youth leader, was charged with molesting a child under the age of 12 during a visit to Lakeland. Investigators learned he works with several church groups in Wyoming, and a further investigation is underway there.

In an incident that took place in Frostproof, 20-year-old Skylar Ready of Fort Meade was charged with four felonies related to an illegal and inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old student at the school, whom he allegedly threatened to kill is she had sex with anyone else.

Ready had served as a Frostproof Middle Senior High School JV basketball coach since 2022, but his employment with the Polk County School System has been ended due to his arrest, according to a statement issued by Superintendent Fred Heid.

Ready "passed a background check before serving as a community coach, and will no longer have any involvement with Polk County Public Schools," Heid said.

In a second case, 69-year-old Richard Shaw of Wyoming, a pastor and church youth group leader, has been charged by the Polk County Sheriff's Office with lewd molestation, a first degree felony. The victim in the case in under the age of 12.

According to a statement from the Sheriff's Office, "Shaw is a worship leader at 'Under Command Ministries' in Freemont County, WY, and works in the youth ministry area as well." Investigators learned that Shaw "also works at or is affiliated with other churches in the area," and the case has spurred an investigation by Wyoming authorities.

Courtesy Polk County Sheriff's Office

Skylar Ready of Fort Meade faces five charges related to his dominant relationship with a minor at Frostproof High School.

Shaw reportedly told deputies that "when he touched the Lakeland victim he 'gave in to temptation.'" He was arrested in Wyoming and will be extradited to Florida to face a charge of lewd molestation, a first degree felony.

Ready has been charged with:

• Sex offense on student by authority figure (F2)

• Written threat to kill (F2)

• Transmission of material harmful to a minor (F3)

• Use of two-way communication device in commission of a felony (F3)

• Lewd battery (F2)

 

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