A former Florida Department of Law Enforcement supervisor has been found guilty of nine child sex offenses surrounding his time as a foster parent and child sex crime investigator.
A Santa Rosa County jury heard six days worth of testimony and evidence beginning with jury selection Monday and returned with a guilty verdict late Saturday.
The four alleged victims were aged between 8 and 10, two of them foster children in the man’s home and two his biological son’s friends.
Authorities were alerted to the alleged abuse when one of the foster children spontaneously announced the man often touched his genitals. His foster mom and biological mom had been in an argument in the presence of a child caseworker about a surgery the boy needed. When the discussion got heated, the boy answered that nobody touches his genitals, except the accused.
The Florida Department of Children and Families worker immediately contacted her supervisor and they began interviewing the other children in the home.
The couple had biological children, foster children and had adopted some children after fostering them, at one point equating to seven children at the house.
One of the other foster children said he had been raped by the man. He was taken for a medical exam where it was found he had injuries consistent with rape.
The man was arrested in November 2016, and soon after two more boys – the biological son’s friends – came forward saying they also had been abused when the man lived at a different address in their neighborhood.
The man strongly maintains his innocence and will be filing an appeal at the appropriate time.
He was found guilty of one count of sexual battery of a child under 12, seven counts of lewd or lascivious molestation, and one count of promoting sexual performance of a child.
The man is scheduled for sentencing July 10.
A sex crime conviction can mean jail time, fines and mandatory registration as a sex offender. The consequences are severe, so it is very important you understand your rights and options. The U.S. Constitution guarantees certain rights of individuals during a criminal investigation and prosecution, as well as after a conviction. No matter where you are in the criminal process, our Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help with your trial and post-conviction appeals process.
For a free consultation to learn more, call us today at 866-608-5529 or contact us online. We know how devastating it can be to be accused or convicted of a sexually offense that you did not commit. Let us help you.
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