|Robert V. Melton|
By Cindy Swirko
A Bradford County Sheriff’s Office jail detention officer was arrested Friday night on allegations he sexually battered a child.
Charged with capital sexual battery was Robert V. Melton, 59, of Starke, reported sheriff’s Capt. Brad Smith. Smith added that additional charges are possible.
Melton resigned after being interviewed during the investigation, which is being done by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Sheriff’s Office.
“The initial information came through the (Florida) Department of Children and Families, and they transferred it to FDLE,” Smith said. “They determined there was some validity to the allegations, and that’s when they contacted Sheriff (Gordon) Smith. It involved a child under the age of 12. There are some other possible victims that are being interviewed.”
Brad Smith said that depending on those interviews, additional charges may be filed against Melton.
Search warrants were obtained for Melton’s house and for a rental storage shed in Starke.
Melton was hired in May 2007 and held the rank of corporal.
Brad Smith said Melton filed a written resignation after a break in his interview.
“Investigators did the initial interview with him and stepped out of the room for a period of time. During that time he wrote it out and got the attention of an officer walking by the door,” Brad Smith said. “He handed it to him, and then we determined it was a resignation letter.”
Melton will be held in an undisclosed correctional facility for security purposes.
Sheriff Smith was quoted in a press release saying the organization should not be judged by the case.
“I am deeply disturbed by this arrest and will continue to work closely with FDLE until this case is complete,” the sheriff said. “The men and women of the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office are a fine group of professionals. This organization should not be judged on the deplorable actions of this individual. We will continue to move forward being constantly vigilant against any wrongdoers.”