A Florida sheriff’s deputy was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly having sex with a teenager he supervised as part of the department’s youth cadet program, including several dates while on duty, officials said.
Bay County Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Anderson, 21, admitted to having sex with the 17-year-old a total of seven times.
The agency said Anderson admitted to having illicit contact with the victim while on active duty in the police.
“The Bay County Jr. Deputy and Explorer Program is a program for young people interested in law enforcement,” Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford said in a statement.
“It breaks my heart to know the damage these actions have done to our children in the program.”
Anderson has been put on unpaid leave and now faces a sexual battery charge.
Ford said he plans to meet with the parents of other teens enrolled in the program to address any concerns they may have following the arrest.
“We will not let the actions of one person destroy the many positive successes of this program,” Ford said.
Florida’s Law Enforcement Explorer program is for those with “an interest in a career in law enforcement,” according to the Florida Sheriff’s Association.
In another case of abuse of power, a September sting operation by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office – another Florida law agency – led to the arrest of 160 people, including a police officer from Georgia, Jason DiPrima.
Announcing ‘Operation Fall Haul II’, Sheriff Grady Judd told a press conference that DiPrima, who was deputy chief of police for the Cartersville Police Department in Georgia, is ‘no longer a police officer’ .
The Cartersville Police Department later said in a press release that DiPrima had resigned pending an internal investigation.
New York Post