Former JSO lieutenant arrested, charged with child sexual assault in St. Johns County

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office has arrested former JSO lieutenant, Christopher Tyree, for sexual battery against a child under 12 following a year-long investigation.

The arrest warrant says the victim contacted law enforcement in April 2022, reporting the abuse when she was a child.

According to the warrant, during the investigation, one of the victims participated in a phone conversation that was being recorded by detectives. During the call, Tyree denied any wrongdoing. However, he said, the report stated, “I’m sorry if anything I ever did or said made you feel uncomfortable because it was never meant to be.”

Detectives also learned during the investigation that Tyree was a suspect in another case where two female juveniles reported Tyree inappropriately touched them.

They also uncovered a case out of Volusia County, where Tyree was investigated for having inappropriate conversations with a 14-year-old girl over Instagram.

That girl’s mother provided St. Johns County detectives with screenshots of those conversations to aid in their investigation.

Investigators later identified other potential child victims. He was later arrested on capital sexual assault charges.

Tyree has pleaded not guilty and is being held on a $1.5 million bond.

Retired JSO Director Tom Hackney knew Tyree very well.

“I’m really shocked by this. Learning he had been arrested and the allegations made against him. This is somebody I worked closely with for several years. And to read that is shocking,” Hackney said in response to reading the arrest warrant.

If convicted, Tyree could face life in prison.

Christopher Tyree mug shot (St. Johns County Sheriff's Office)

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