NewsCitrus, Hernando County


Florida Correctional Officer arrested for sexual battery on child

Posted at 5:23 PM, Mar 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-13 09:03:44-04

CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida Correctional Officer was arrested Monday for capital sexual battery on a child.

James Touchton, 37, is a correctional officer at Lowell Correctional Institution in Marion County.

Initial information was reported early on March 8. The responding Citrus County Sheriff's deputy was able to make contact with both victims and gathered preliminary information.

The special victims unit and child protection team at Jessie's Place continued the investigation Monday, where the victims disclosed multiple incidents of sexual abuse by Touchton.

"A possible lifetime in prison sentence for James Touchton is nothing in comparison to the physical and emotional harm he has inflicted on his victims. He used his authority over these two juveniles to manipulate them into unspeakable acts," said Sheriff Prendergast. "It is unfortunate Law Enforcement Agencies need to have Special Victims' Units but, because of cases like this, they are necessary. We will exhaust all efforts to ensure these victims are supported throughout the entire criminal justice process and our cases are flawless to bring forth the maximum punishment."

Touchton was arrested and booked into Citrus County Detention Facility for Capital Sexual Battery and Lewd and Lascivious Molestation on a child under 12 years of age.

“The Department unequivocally condemns the actions of this officer. Our thoughts are with the victims involved and their families, and we stand ready to assist local authorities with whatever they need as they move forward with their case,” said Patrick Manderfield the Press Secretary for the Florida Department of Corrections.

The Department said they are moving forward with Touchton’s immediate dismissal. He was hired in 2008 and had no record of previous disciplinary action taken against him.