What did Justin Sigmon do? Charges explored as former Franking County Sheriff's deputy arrested on cruise ship
Justin Sigmon, a former deputy of the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, was apprehended by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Miami after being accused of engaging in inappropriate physical contact with a child while on a cruise. The arrest came after Sigmon was charged with having abusive s*xual contact with a minor under the age of 12 on May 30.
Justin Sigmon was still working as a captain at the Franklin County Sheriff's Office when he was arrested, however, he resigned from his position soon after on June 2.
In response to the arrest, the Franklin County Sheriff's Office released an official statement expressing their awareness about the federal criminal charge against one of their former members. The Sheriff's Office stated that due to the limited information provided by federal authorities, they have been actively collecting additional details related to the case.
The child's relationship with Sigmon currently remains unclear as Cruise Law News referred to her as Sigmon's daughter, while court documents simply mentioned she was the suspect's female relative.
Trigger Warning: This article contains mentions of child abuse. Readers' discretion is advised.
Cruise passenger caught Justin Sigmon inappropriately touching a minor on videotape
According to documents filed in the federal court for the Southern District of Florida, 47-year-old Justin Sigmon was arrested by the FBI when the cruise ship Carnival Sunshine returned to the port in Miami.
Justin Sigmon was traveling with his family when he was reportedly caught on video engaging in what has been described as "m*lesting a girl" by a fellow passenger according to Virginia news station WDBJ7.
The alleged incident occurred in the dining room of the cruise ship where Sigmon and his family were waiting for dinner to be served. An FBI agent's affidavit, submitted as part of the court file, states that a witness observed Sigmon abusing the young girl, who was seated on his lap.
Upon boarding the ship, the FBI conducted an interview with Sigmon. According to the court file, Sigmon admitted to understanding that the physical contact could be considered inappropriate but insisted that it was not intended to be of s*xual nature.
However, Justin Sigmon claimed that if another man had touched his daughter in the same manner, he would have responded with physical aggression.
When the minor victim was interviewed about the incident, she stated that Sigmon did not touch her private area but instead touched her legs below the knee, closer to her ankle, specifically identifying her calf. The victim also mentioned that Sigmon did not touch her under her clothing, as per ABC 13.
However, the recordings contradicted the minor's account of the events as it was clear that Justin Sigmon had touched areas beyond the minor victim's knees or calf and did, in fact, touch her underneath the skirt of her dress.
Based on the investigation conducted by an FBI special agent, there was probable cause to charge Justin Sigmon with the abuse of a minor under the age of 12. As the matter progresses, authorities are determining the appropriate legal course of action.