Clay County Sheriff’s Patrol Deputy Paul S. Mauricio was arrested Wednesday after he confirmed allegations from a 12-year-old girl that he had been sexually abusing her. The abuse has been ongoing, Sheriff Michelle Cook said during a Thursday morning press conference.
The Sheriff’s Office received a call Tuesday at approximately 9:30 p.m. from the victim’s mother who told officers that her daughter had come into her room crying and saying that she was “sick of this happening,” Cook said.
The deputy was interviewed Wednesday morning by the Department of Children and Family’s investigators. He admitted to investigators that the allegations were true and the abuse had been ongoing, Cook said. Information is not being released at this time how long the abuse was happening.
Mauricio was arrested by CCSO and charged with capital sexual battery against a minor before the age of 12, and custodial sexual battery against a child after 12 years of age.
Cook said that Mauricio’s emergency suspension will be upgraded Thursday to an immediate termination now that he is in custody. Mauricio served with CCSO for eight years.
“I do not know if she [the victim] will ever see this interview,” Cook said. “But I want her to know that she is a very brave young girl. I want to commend the bravery it took to tell her mother.”
During Mauricio’s first appearance before the judge on Thursday, prosecutors said one of the counts he is charged with carries a possible life sentence, First Coast News reported. He is being held without bond.
“You understand you have the right to remain silent and probably should use that,” the judge said during his court appearance.
Mauricio is being held in the Clay County Jail on no bond. He is ordered to have no contact with his alleged victim or any other minors.