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Putnam County sergeant resigns during domestic violence investigation

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A sergeant with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office has resigned while allegations of domestic abuse are investigated.

Detectives said the investigation of Sgt. Robert Nelson began after his girlfriend and mother of his child make statements to her supervisor, who reported it to the Sheriff's Office. Nelson was placed on administrative leave, then resigned last week.

The Sheriff's Office said Nelson’s girlfriend told coworkers that he confronted her last month about her coming home late from work. During an ensuing argument, she said Nelson made statements that could be seen as threatening to his girlfriend’s co-workers. As the argument continued, Nelson allegedly waved his hand close to his girlfriend’s face. 

When questioned, the girlfriend said he had grabbed her against her will about three or four years ago and sexually battered her about a year ago, although the next day she said the threats and sexual battery claim "were exaggerated."

Records indicate that the Sheriff’s Office was never been called to the home where Nelson and his girlfriend lived and there were no previous reports of violence or disturbances between the two.

After Nelson's resignation, both criminal and internal investigations were followed through to completion.  The internal investigation concluded that Nelson had violated the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office’s standards of conduct that require deputies to keep their private lives untainted as an example to all. The sustained allegations would likely have resulted in Nelson’s termination had he not resigned. 

The results of the criminal investigation have been forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office, which will decide if any criminal charges will move forward. This is standard procedure in most cases when sexual battery is alleged. As in any case with accusations of domestic violence in homes where children live, the criminal investigative report has been forwarded to Florida Department of Children and Families. for review.

Nelson had worked for the Sheriff's Office since September 2007 and most recently was the department's training coordinator.