Southeastern University’s former head athletic trainer accused of sexual misconduct

Polk County

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – A head athletic trainer at Southeastern University is out of a job and no longer has a license to practice in Florida following a sexual misconduct allegation involving a volleyball player.

A 23-year-old graduate student, who played with the women’s volleyball team and served as an assistant coach, accused Jem Sirrine of inappropriately exposing her private area during a one-on-one session to treat a leg injury in November 2020, according to an investigative report filed with the Fla. Department of Health and a police report obtained by 8 On Your Side.

Southeastern University is a private, Christian liberal arts university in Lakeland.

“It was just the two of them in the training room. He seated her on a table where she would be obscured from anybody walking into the room,” said Adam Horowitz, who is representing the woman. “It’s a violation in a horrific way. She was relying on an athletic trainer for help and for healing and to think he may have been getting some kind of sexual gratification out of it is really disturbing.”

Sirrine stopped working for the university in November 2020, according to a spokesperson.

“Because Southeastern University takes allegations of sexual assault very seriously, the university took immediate action and suspended Mr. Sirrine upon learning of the complaint. Thirteen days later, after Southeastern conducted an investigation into the complaint, Mr. Sirrine’s employment at Southeastern terminated,” Dana Davis, Southeastern University’s chief communications officer, wrote in a statement.

Davis declined to clarify whether Sirrine was fired or resigned.

This month, Sirrine voluntarily relinquished his license to practice as an athletic trainer in Florida and agreed to never reapply for licensure as an athletic trainer in the state, state records show.

“My client’s first interest, primary interest, was number one – getting his license taken away so that he couldn’t do this to anybody else. She’s accomplished that now,” Horowitz said.

Jem Sirrine told 8 On Your Side “no comment” when reached by phone Thursday.

Lakeland police filed two misdemeanor simple battery arrest affidavits against Sirrine in the spring, according to Lakeland Police Assistant Chief Sam Taylor.

The case is still under review by the state’s attorney’s office, said Assistant State Attorney Jacob Orr.

Horowitz said he is considering taking legal action against Southeastern University.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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