Former Citrus County Deputy Charged with Child Sex Crime

Whittel & Melton Inverness 352-726-0078 – Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys

A former Citrus County deputy sheriff was arrested by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement earlier this month on an active 5th Judicial Circuit warrant charging him with two counts of sexual battery on a child older than 12 years of age.

According to Sumter County authorities, along with his attorney, the 48-year-old man turned himself in to police. He was booked into the Sumter County Jail and held on $500,000 bond.

About two months ago the Florida abuse hotline received a complaint that the man had allegedly physically abused a 5-year-old boy. The complaint also mentioned that the man had allegedly sexually molested a young girl.

The physical abuse allegations were looked into by the Sheriff’s Office, but could not be substantiated. The separate matter involving alleged sexual abuse of a child was turned over to the agency’s Special Victims Unit for follow-up.

The Citrus County Sheriff made the decision early on in the investigation to hand the case over to the FDLE, specifically because it involved a current CCSO deputy sheriff and was also multi-jurisdictional.

The alleged female victim is now in her early 20s and no longer lives in Citrus County. The investigation alleges the former CCSO deputy repeatedly abused the woman from the time she was 11 until she turned 18. The man is accused of threatening the alleged victim, telling her no one would  believe her if she told.

The arrest warrant indicated the alleged abuse occurred on multiple occasions at various locations between January 2003 and December 2008.

The man will be transported from Sumter County to the Citrus County Detention Facility to face the charges against him, although it is unclear when.

He was terminated from his position with the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday, May 31 due to agency policy violations of absence from duty without proper notification.

The former deputy sheriff was hired by the Sheriff’s Office in October 2003. He ended his employment in September 2006 to assist an ailing family member. He returned to Citrus County and was rehired in August 2007.

His prior disciplinary action included one instance of conduct unbecoming an officer that resulted from an internal affairs investigation in August 2010, which resulted in a suspension without pay and reassignment to road patrol. In September 2009, a second discipline involved his repeated failure to properly follow up and document cases and promptly respond to phone calls. The action taken was a written reprimand and probation.

Due to the stigma surrounding even the allegation of a sex crime involving a child, there is often the assumption that any person accused of this type of crime is guilty. If you are facing allegations of sexual battery, child molestation, rape or any other sexual offense, it is important to consult with a Florida Sex Crimes Attorney that can provide you with the aggressive defense you need in order to fight such difficult charges. The Florida Sex Crimes Lawyers at Whittel & Melton work vigorously to protect the rights of those accused of child sex crimes throughout the state of Florida. A conviction for a sex offense involving a child can negatively impact the rest of your life, so it is vital to give yourself the best chance for a successful outcome.

Many allegations of sex crimes are not true, especially those involving children. Children are extremely vulnerable to coercion by adults or other children. It is important to be aware that false allegations can and do lead to sex crimes convictions. The penalties for a sex crime conviction are severe, including mandatory registration as a sex offender, so it is necessary to make sure you have the right sex crimes defense lawyer working in your corner.

If you have been arrested or charged with a sexual offense in Citrus County, or elsewhere in the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Lawyers at Whittel & Melton online or call  us in Citrus County at 352-726-0078. You can reach us statewide and toll-free by dialing 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).