A former school resource officer at Blake High School charged with having sex with a 17-year-old student was sentenced to six years in prison Friday.
Brian Morales, a former Tampa police officer, was charged with eight counts of felony sexual activity with a minor. He pleaded guilty before Judge Chris Sabella and will follow his six years in state prison with two years of house arrest and three years on probation, said Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office spokesman Mark Cox.
Morales, 36, came under investigation in December 2013 after the girl’s mother overheard a speaker phone conversation between the two. During the conversation, the officer said he would hurt himself if the relationship ever became public.
Morales was taken into custody under the Baker Act because he had threatened to hurt himself, and was later arrested and fired.
According to police, Morales and the girl had sex at least eight times over a two month period at his home, her home, and in Morales’ car. On most meetings, she would sneak out of her home to meet Morales, who was off duty at the time of each encounter, police said.
The last time they were alone together was Dec. 12, 2013, police said.
Morales, who earned $61,838 a year, had worked for the police department for seven years. He became a school resource officer at Blake High in January 2012. The only previous record of discipline in his personnel file was a letter of counseling for losing his police radio after he left it on top of his car and drove off.