• St. Johns County Sheriff's Office arrests, terminates deputy after alleged lewd, lascivious behavior

    By: Action News Jax

    Updated:

    Update: According to an arrest report, the victim told SJSO detectives the sexual abuse began while she was in middle school in 2004 and continued through her junior year of high school in 2010. 

    The report also stated the victim had a controlled phone conversation with  former St. Johns County Sheriff Deputy Jeffrey Lewis Cook.

    Deputies said the victim asked Cook why the sexual battery occured and explained how she was afraid to bring her future children around him. 

    Cook said he did not know what to say about the abuse and asked the victim for forgiveness.

    He stated he was a not the same person he used to be and even asked God to change his heart and to forgive him, according to the report. 

     Cook had his first court appearance Saturday in St. Johns County.  Bond was set at $150,000. 

    Original story:

    The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office has arrested Deputy Jeffrey Lewis Cook, a 17-year employee with the Sheriff's Office, on suspicion of lewd and lascivious behavior that allegedly happened over a course of six years with a minor.

    The Sheriff's Office said that on Thursday night, Sheriff David Shoar was notified of events where the deputy had allegedly inappropriately touched a victim over the course of six years while she was a juvenile. The last contact allegedly occurred nearly 10 years ago.  

    After an immediate investigation into the allegations, Cook was arrested and terminated, according to the Sheriff's Office. 

    Sheriff Shoar said, “Anyone who has heard me speak on these types of crimes, knows that I value our children, as well as seniors, as our highest priority for protection.  I am both angry and saddened by these events, and while this incident involves one individual, it is not reflective of our agency or this honorable profession... As we have in the past, we will continue to police ourselves, and hold our people accountable, to ensure we maintain the highest standards of our profession.”  

    According to the Sheriff's Office, Cook is facing charges of lewd and lascivious molestation. 

    The Sheriff's Office said there are no indications that there were other victims.

    The Sheriff's Office is asking for anyone with additional information to please contact Detective Sgt. George Harrigan at (904) 209-2443.     

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