• Report: Jacksonville man blames anime for molesting girl in church utility closet

    By: Ryan Nelson , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Action News Jax Investigates is learning new details in an alleged child molestation case at Victory Chapel Christian Church on Jan. 30, 2019. 

    According to a newly obtained police report, Uber driver Justin Hughes, 31, attacked a 3-year-old girl in a church utility closet. According to the report, he allegedly blamed Japanese graphic novels for his behavior. 

    Hughes was arrested Jan. 31, and we first reported the charges on Feb. 1.

    A mother and church member who asked not be identified spoke exclusively to Action News Jax reporter Ryan Nelson. 

    “You instantly kind of freak out,” she said. “But then, you’re also like, there’s no way that that can be happening. There’s no way that that would happen, especially of all places in a church.”

    According to the redacted police report we first obtained earlier this month, Hughes “inappropriately touched a three-year-old female victim." He was charged with lewd and lascivious molestation – by an offender 18 or older against a victim less than 12 years old.

    Tonight, an Action News Jax source close to the family sent us a copy of the unredacted arrest report.  


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    It states an assistant pastor "reviewed the surveillance video and saw Justin Hughes (suspect) coax the victim into a utility closet at 21:06 and the victim and suspect exited the closet” nearly 15 minutes later. 

    Investigators write Hughes appeared “distraught and in a rush to be in handcuffs.”

    The report states Hughes allegedly asked an officer, “Do you have children? If you do, keep them away from Anime and Manga (Japanese graphic novel). They’re perverted and sick, I am an idiot.”

    The report goes on to say detectives "learned from the suspect he inappropriately touched the victim and did not go into detail upon further questioning”

    Hughes’ next court date is set for Thursday.

    While Hughes' arrest was not related to an Uber trip, the company sent Action News Jax the following information:

    •    All drivers go through a background screening that includes both a criminal and motor vehicle check.
    •    We received a notification of his arrest/charges through our continuous monitoring system and removed his access to the app. 
    o    Uber has invested in new technology and partnerships to receive notification whenever a driver is potentially involved in a new criminal offense.
    o    Our teams review each flagged offense to determine whether the driver continues to meet Uber’s safety standards.
    o    We are the only company in our industry using this type of technology

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