Tampa police officer fired, accused of sex with teenage girl - FOX 13 News

Tampa police officer fired, accused of sex with teenage girl

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Photo courtesy HCSO. Photo courtesy HCSO.
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

A Tampa police officer finds himself on the wrong side of the law. He's accused of having sex multiple times with a 17-year-old girl.

Officer Brian Morales looked like a stand-out officer: seven years on the force, a wife, and kids.

But Thursday, his career as a school resource officer at Blake High School came to an abrupt end.

Police say he was fired for having sex with a student. Administrators at Blake called Tampa Police Department Wednesday night after the victim's mom found out about the two-month fling.

"He certainly doesn't deserve to wear the Tampa Police Department uniform. He has not upheld the high standards that we are all held to in this department. In fact, he has discredited all law enforcement," Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor said Thursday.

The victim was 17 years old. Morales is 36 years old.

Parents were alerted by a mass phone message from the school.

"I thought it was shocking because I know they have a due diligence process they go through," Blake High School parent Deanna Meagher said Thursday night.

Tampa police say Morales soared through it. He had no prior record with them, and actually cleared additional interviews to work in a school.

Still, some parents say they were always suspicious.

"I just had to have a conversation with my daughter a few weeks ago, because he had driven her to the YMCA in the golf cart and I had to let her know that she can't be alone with a man like that," Blake High School parent Maggie Houser said Thursday.

Morales was Baker Acted Wednesday night, after making comments to the victim that he would hurt himself if their relationship was made public.

Now, he's behind bars, fired, and facing felony charges.

"It's very unfortunate because these girls think they can trust people, especially the school resource officer. Beyond even a teacher, I think he's held to an even higher standard," Houser said.

Morales is charged with eight felony counts of sexual activity with a minor.  He was booked into jail Thursday afternoon. Police say he's not cooperating with their investigation.

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