Sexual misconduct allegation leads Southeastern University’s sports coach to give up his license


The senior sports coach at Southeastern University in Lakeland voluntarily gave up his license after a 23-year-old volleyball player filed a sexual misconduct complaint almost a year ago.

The volleyball player filed the complaint with the Florida Department of Health in December 2020.

According to the investigation report, the woman injured her quad muscle while playing volleyball. She was on her way to the exercise room to heat up her injury when senior sports coach Jem Sirrine insisted that he offer her neuromuscular electronic stimulation (STIM).

The woman claimed that Sirrine stuck his hand inside her spandex and pushed the spandex and underwear aside, exposing her vagina for an “absolutely unnecessary time”. Then he should not have placed the STIM pad anywhere near the injury site, according to the documents.

According to the report, Sirrine removed the pads after discovering the machine was not working properly, exposing her vagina a second time.

In a Lakeland police report, the woman said she exposed Sirrine a total of three times during treatment.

As the woman left the room, she told Florida Department of Health investigators that Sirrine was sitting in a “provocative” manner.

“She came to him for help and treatment,” said Adam Horowitz, the woman’s lawyer. “She felt hurt.”

The woman briefed the volleyball team coach and a human resources representative about the alleged incident with Sirrine. She also reported the allegations to Lakeland Police.

In the police report filed on November 12, 2020, she said she wanted to file a complaint and that “about two weeks ago a similar complaint was made against Jem by another girl.”

The Florida State Board of Athletic Training met on October 6 to discuss the allegations. Sirrine was absent, waived a probable reason, and signed a voluntary waiver of his license.

The board ordered that his surrender of the license be accepted. As part of the surrender, Sirrine agreed never to apply for a Florida sports coach license again.

“That was a great feat when he gave up his license because she knew it might protect people in the future,” said Horowitz.

Dana Davis, Southeastern University’s chief communications officer, said in a statement: “Because Southeastern University takes sexual assault allegations very seriously, the university took immediate action and suspended Mr Sirrine upon learning of the complaint. Thirteen days later, after Southeastern investigated the complaint, Mr. Sirrine was employed by Southeastern [was] completed.”

SEU did not comment on a possible second complaint.

FOX 13 News has contacted Sirrine’s attorney, Lance Sorry, but received no comment on the story.

Although the Lakeland Police Department filed two affidavits for simple battery liability violations, no criminal charges were filed against Sirrine at this point. The prosecutor said the case was still being examined and that there was no trial date.

“Your criminal justice system is very important. We keep our fingers crossed for the Polk County prosecutor to file a criminal complaint,” Horowitz said. “We are examining the possibility of a civil suit against the university.”

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