JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A former JSO police officer is facing new charges of molesting children and Action News has new details about Richard Cannon's employment history.
The charges against Cannon are a complete shock when you look at his employment record. Not only is it spotless, but it comes filled with commendations and respect. Cannon was with JSO for 25 years, most recently with the marine unit. In all this paperwork obtained by Action News, we didn't find one single citation in Cannon's history.
"It's unusual to not see anything in someone's record then jump to something like this so quickly," said psychologist Terri Wall. She says that's what is most shocking about Cannon's arrest. He's now facing three counts of sexual battery and 10 counts of lewd and lascivious molestation. "It's shocking to have someone be an officer for 25 years, and all of the sudden these charges come out and my guess is there's been others abused that are not coming forward."
Action News uncovered dozens of letters of commendation, work evaluations saying Cannon was an asset to the force, has expert knowledge and makes good decisions. Prosecutor Theresa Simak says the charges date back to abuse in 2005. That's why they added more charges just last week.
"The law regarding sentencing changed in 2005. That's where the additional charges came from. It's based on the age of the child," said Simak.
While Cannon is now sitting behind bars, some wonder why a man with a clear passion as a police officer can be facing such serious charges. "What's so terrible when police do something like this, it impacts the trust for everybody," said Wall.
Cannnon is in jail right now but is expected to be in court on Monday facing the new charges. He resigned from JSO shortly after he was arrested last month.