‘Disgusted’ sheriff calls man accused of sex crimes against girl ‘depraved’

PALATKA, Fla. – A 48-year-old Palatka man is accused of sex crimes involving a 9-year-old girl, who told investigators the man watched porn and sexually abused her while doing so.

Troy William Armstrong is charged with four counts of lewd and lascivious behavior and four counts of sexual assault on a child younger than 12.

In November, the girl, who was 8 at the time, reported the sexual abuse to a school guidance counselor, which sparked an investigation, according to an arrest warrant. Armstrong is not related to the girl but had opportunities to be with her unsupervised, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office said.

“She went to a counselor, which is the bravest thing she could do,” said News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson, who is a retired Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office sex crimes investigator.

After investigating the girl’s report, detectives obtained a warrant for Armstrong in December but were unable to locate him until Monday.

Armstrong was arrested and taken to the Putnam County jail. He is being held without bond.

“I am disgusted by the type of person who preys on children. These acts are the reflection of a depraved individual who has ruined a child’s innocence and trust,” Sheriff H.D. “Gator” DeLoach said. “We will follow this through to ensure he is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and unable to have an opportunity to be around children ever again. The courage this child had to come forward and tell an adult is commendable and we pray that the mental and emotional scars this child has will heal over time.”