Middleburg man accused of sexually abusing two minors

Deputies say a tip to a school resource officer sparked the investigation


MIDDLEBURG, Fla. – A tip to a Clay County school resource officer has led to the arrest of a Middleburg man accused of sexually abusing two minors.

Justin Joseph Pope, 37, was booked Tuesday into the Clay County jail on felony charges of lewd and lascivious behavior and lewd and lascivious molestation. He remains in custody in lieu of $200,000 bail.

The charges stem from information provided to a resource officer stationed at a high school, according to Pope’s arrest report. The officer notified the Clay County Sheriff’s Office on Aug. 16.

A student told investigators that Pope, whose relationship to the child is unclear, recently groped her and forced her to participate in a sex act. The student’s younger sister made similar allegations.

The details of the complaints contained in the heavily redacted arrest report are too graphic to publish.

Deputies learned during the investigation that neither child knew of the incidents involving one another, and one of the children did not discuss what was happening with family, the report said.

Pope agreed to meet with investigators Tuesday, but the contents of his interview were redacted from the report. Even so, detectives felt they had enough probable cause to place him under arrest.

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