Port St. Lucie Soccer Coach Arrested for Molesting Player

A Port St. Lucie soccer coach was arrested on Tuesday after being accused of carrying on a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old player.

According to an affidavit released Wednesday, Joseph Christopher Gianquitti, 44, engaged in sexual contact with the minor for a number of months, beginning when he was 15. Gianquitti is facing multiple felony counts of lewd and lascivious behavior and could be sentenced to a maximum of 45 years in prison.

The Port St. Lucie Soccer Club vice president was taken into custody by U.S. marshals after hiding in the clubhouse of a local soccer field while awaiting the arrival of his wife.

"You put your trust in the people who are running the organization and the coaches, so they need to be held to a higher standard when they violate the trust," said Port St. Lucie Sgt. Frank Sabol, via WPTV, Channel 5.

The parents were informed of the situation by their son after he had finally had enough of Gianquitti's antics and brought the situation to the attention of authorities on Monday.

Wednesday's affidavit revealed that, about a year ago, Gianquitti began to display an awkward interest in the player. The first sexual contact between the two, according to the player, occurred in April 2012 after Gianquitti supplied players with alcohol at his home. After spending the night, the youth claims he woke up to the coach molesting him.

That's allegedly not the only time the boy awoke to Gianquitti.

During the Treasure Coast Christian Academy homecoming, Gianquitti threw a party that the player attended. The boy claims that after drinking against his will, he passed out and awoke to the coach engaging in a sexual act with him.

There was also another alleged incident in which Gianquitti supplied the player with a pill and carried out a sexual act.

The coach, whom the family had considered a "second father," bonded out of jail early Wednesday morning for $90,000.

Follow Dennis Bovell on Twitter @dbovell.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Dennis Bovell
Contact: Dennis Bovell