Ex-Clay County deputy accused of sex with teen has history of inappropriate behavior

Travis Pritchard was previously disciplined twice for unbecoming, immoral conduct

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – A former Clay County deputy accused of having sex with a teenager once let a gas station employee put his patrol baton down her pants during a romantic encounter while he was on duty, according to a discipline history obtained by News4Jax.

Deputy Travis Pritchard was fired Saturday after he was arrested on a charge of lewd battery on a minor. The 15-year-old victim’s mother told police Pritchard had been sneaking into her home late at night to have sex with her daughter.

The Green Cove Springs Police Department said there could be other victims and they are actively working leads in the case.

A look at Pritchard's disciplinary file shows that in 2013, he was seen kissing an employee at the Hess Express Mart gas station on U.S. 17 in Green Cove Springs while he was in uniform and on duty. The person who filed the complaint said the employee went into the store with Pritchard's patrol baton and could be seen playing with it before she put the baton in her pants.

A year later, Pritchard was disciplined by the Clay County Sheriff's Office after his AR-15 service rifle accidentally discharged in his home. The complaint said Pritchard “discharged a live round inside of his residence while checking if the ammunition was removed” during a cleaning.

In 2016, a Middleburg citizen complained that Pritchard appeared to be “racing southbound on Discovery Road with a black pick-up truck.”

The Sheriff's Office investigated and found the driver he appeared to have been racing was a female police recruit he had a personal relationship with. He said he was tutoring her as she went through the academy.

The Sheriff's Office disciplined Pritchard for speeding and for getting into a heated confrontation with the man who complained.

News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said after reviewing the complaint that Pritchard appeared to be evasive in that case when questioned by supervisors.

"When you’re under investigation because of a complaint and you’re questioned about it and you’re evasive about it, that gives the indication that you have something to hide,” Jefferson said. “And investigators know that from the very beginning.”

Pritchard was a DUI enforcement deputy and worked for the Sheriff’s Office for more than a decade, receiving the 2015 Sheriff John P. Hall Sr. Memorial Law Enforcement Award.

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