Jacksonville photographer accused of raping minor, impregnating her

Armstrong was also investigated in 2018 for allegedly molesting someone else

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.Disclaimer: This story references sexual abuse. Some may find the details included in this story to be graphic in nature. Discretion is advised.

A Jacksonville photographer is facing charges of sexual battery and molestation against a victim between 12 to 18 years old, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Edwin Armstrong, 37, who goes by Edwin Anthony, pled not guilty to the charges in October. He was known for photographing baby showers, sporting events, high school homecomings and weddings around the River City.

According to a police report, on Sept. 30, a woman called 911 and told them he was depressed and making suicidal statements.

Then, the woman told police she received a text from the victim that said Armstrong “has been raping her since December.” The victim also told the woman that Armstrong made her take two pregnancy tests, which came back positive, days before the police got involved.

The report redacts the connection between the woman who called the police, the victim, and Armstrong.

The arrest report stated that Armstrong told the victim to “keep it a secret and act like someone else was the unborn child’s father.” Armstrong had a gun as this unfolded and made multiple suicidal statements, the report said.

When police responded, Armstrong and the victim were inside the same house with other kids inside as well. After all the kids had left the home, police advised the victim to lure Armstrong out of the home by texting him to come outside. After Armstrong exited the residence, he was detained by police, according to the report.

When the victim talked to the police, she said it all started in December 2021. According to the report, Armstrong would come into her bedroom at night and inappropriately touch and sexually assault her.

According to the victim, the last time he was accused of sexually assaulting her was in August at his photography studio on Main Street. The victim told police that the alleged assaults had been happening twice a week since February.

At one point, the report said that Armstrong’s mother came to the residence to talk with him. He said to his mother that “he doesn’t deserve to live for what he’s done” and kept saying he “knows better than that and knows he messed up,” the report said.

He also made a Facebook post saying he has been fighting demons and they got the best of him.

During the arrest, police said Armstrong claimed to not understand his rights and then asked for a lawyer.

Many community members said they were shocked when news broke about the allegations Armstrong is facing.

Byron Robinson with Better Dads Society, a group that mentors boys, said the organization has been working with Armstrong since 2017.

“When you get news like that about a person that you’ve done business with, it kind of pulls you back a little bit,” Robinson said. “The trust arrow goes up. So now you got to do more screening, more background, you got to get more in tune with people you deal with these days.”

Robinson doesn’t excuse the allegations against Armstrong but hopes he gets the help he needs.

“I think, as a man, he has something inside of him that needs help. He’s probably crying out for help. But you can’t cry for help if you never tell anyone, So, I pray for the brother. I think he’s a swell guy. I just think that he has something inside of him that’s really not right.”

Armstrong was also investigated in 2018 for allegedly molesting someone else. News4JAX obtained that report and after police interviewed him, he wasn’t arrested and the case hasn’t been cleared.

He was released from jail on Oct. 18. We also spoke with Armstrong who declined to comment about the recent allegations or if he was still operating his photography business.

Armstrong pled not guilty to all the charges and was required to not have contact with the victim or witnesses in this case and can’t have a gun.

His pre-trial is set for Jan. 5.

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