Lee deputy charged with lewd conduct
A Lee County sheriff’s deputy was charged with lewd conduct Friday night after the agency received an anonymous complaint of a deputy contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Joshua Payne, 26, was arrested at approximately 6 p.m. The charge is lewd lascivious behavior – victim 12 yers of age up to 16 tears of age; offender 18 or older.
He also has been placed on administrative leave without pay, officials said.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office received the anonymous complaint Thursday and the suspect was identified as Joshua Payne, officials said.
Investigators interviewed both the girl and her parents. During the interviews, it was learned the suspect contributed to the delinquency of the minor by providing her with alcohol and touching the victim on her breast under her clothing on more than one occasion, officials said. The lewd conduct is reported to have occurred at the victim’s home. Investigators say they were also provided copies of text messages sent to the victim from the suspect, which support the charges.
Payne has been employed at the Lee County Sheriff’s Office since 2003 and most recently worked as a detective in Alpha (North) District.
Sheriff Mike Scott, in a prepared statement, said that while it’s regrettable to have to arrest one of his own deputies, “it further demonstrates that we at the Sheriff’s Office enforce the laws across the board and always seek justice for victims in our community.”
Source: Lee County Sheriff’s Office