A 40-year-old Putnam County man was arrested in Flagler County this week on a capital sexual battery warrant.
Putnam County deputies said Derrick Davis is a former state Department of Corrections employee, who is accused of sexually abusing a girl younger than 12 years old.
Investigators said the girl came forward in March to report the abuse they said she experienced for years. The girl and Davis knew each other well, according to detectives.
News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said the girl did the right thing.
“Having been a former sex crimes investigator, you find children are apprehensive about coming forward because they feel they’re the guilty party. They feel they’re the cause of what actually happened, so they’re reluctant in coming forward,” said Jefferson.
Jefferson said it is important to notice red flags that a child is being abused.
“Some signs to look out for in young children is they become introverted. They suddenly become very quiet as though they have a secret they don’t want to disclose. They become withdrawn and they walk around in fear,” said Jefferson.
Along with capital sexual battery, Davis is also charged with lewd and lascivious battery.
Body camera video released by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office showed the moment a deputy pulled Davis over on Thursday.
Deputy: Hey, what’s going on?
Davis: I was on my way to work.
Davis appeared to be unaware of why he was pulled over.
Deputy: You’ve got a warrant.
Davis: I do?
Davis is being held in the Putnam County Jail without bond.
Jefferson encourages children who may experience abuse to always speak up, tell an adult, a friend, a teacher or someone you trust.
Anyone who is currently or has been the victim of sexual violence is encouraged to contact the Women’s Center of Jacksonville, where they can receive support, advocacy and counseling. Victims’ privacy is protected. For more information or to seek help, call 904-722-3000 or the 24/7 Rape Crisis Hotline at 904-721-7273 or visit womenscenterofjax.org/rape-recovery-and-prevention.
You can also contact RAINN.org or call 800-656-HOPE to get help 24/7 or find an organization near you.