Cops in Florida arrested a former Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office deputy who allegedly sexually assaulted a girl between the ages of 6 and 8.
Christopher Tyree, 56, is also accused of inappropriately touching two other young girls under the age of 10, according to a probable cause affidavit filed by the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office.
The investigation began in April 2022 when a girl reported the abuse to police in Texas. The girl told police she was friends with Tyree’s daughter and the alleged assaults took place at his home when she would change into her bathing suit.
She told detectives that Tyree would corner her in the bedroom and penetrate her and force her to perform oral sex, the affidavit said. He also would stand at the doorway and watch the girls change, according to the affidavit.
In June 2022, two more victims came forward to accuse Tyree of inappropriately touching them. One of them said Tyree would use a vibrating foot massager over her clothing and ask “does this feel good,” the affidavit said. She identified Tyree in a photo lineup, authorities said.
Detectives also learned he was having “inappropriate conversations” with a 14-year-old girl in Volusia County, Florida, telling her she was “beautiful” and that he loved her.
On June 27, 2022, detectives set up a controlled call with one of the victims to Tyree to see if he would admit to any of the accusations. Tyree never admitted to any wrongdoing in the nearly 12-minute phone call, the affidavit said.
According to the affidavit, he said “… If I ever made you feel uncomfortable, I don’t know what else to say. I am so sorry. That was never any intention to make anybody feel uncomfortable. I know I would not just arbitrarily help a girl just change out of her clothes or any of that.”
Tyree’s daughter told detectives that her father would “linger around” when she changed, according to the affidavit.
He denied the allegations when confronted by detectives.
Tyree faces charges of sexual battery by a person 18 years of age on victim under 12 and lewd and lascivious molestation of a victim 12 years of age or younger by a person 18 years or older.
Retired JSO Director Tom Hackney told WJXT that knew Tyree very well.
“I’m really shocked by this,” he told the TV station. “Learning he had been arrested and the allegations made against him. This is somebody I worked closely with for several years. And to read that [arrest affidavit] is shocking.”
Records show Tyree was arrested Aug. 25 and is being held in jail on a $1.5 million bond.
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