Deputy Uses Position to Coerce Sexual Acts
(FL) – Polk County Detention Officer, Robert Collins, was charged with two felonies after an outcry by a female inmate. It appears the incident happened in the late hours of March 4, into the early hours of March 5. According to a statement made by the sheriff in The Ledger,
“As he was making his rounds, between March the 4th and 5th, he solicited this lady, who was in jail, to expose herself,” said Judd, adding that he was furious. “She said, ‘I was afraid not to do it. I’m locked up. He’s got authority over me. I’m supposed to get out of jail soon. I didn’t want him doing anything to cause me to stay in jail longer. And he coerced me.’”
Female Inmate Makes Outcry
The female inmate claims that Deputy Robert Collins approached her “in a sexual way and coercing her to show him her breasts and touch herself.” She also states that “he would force her to rub her hand over his clothed crotch area.” Deputy Collin’s actions placed the female in fear of retaliation in the form of a delayed release from jail. The fearful inmate complied, but later made an outcry to another deputy.
Criminal Investigation Conducted
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office began a criminal investigation into the allegations against Deputy Collins.
According to investigators, Collins denied the inmate’s accusations when they first interviewed him. When deputies went into detail about what they were told by the inmate and then they asked him if it was true, he said, “I don’t know, it’s possible.”
The detectives investigating the case are concerned that that there may be more victims. According to Sheriff Judd as quoted in The Ledger,
“If there’s other people that might have experienced the same thing, we want to hear from you, too,” Judd said “’Cause there’s nothing that would warm our heart more than to launch more criminal charges against him.”
Detention Officer Arrested on Felony Charges
57-year old Robert Collins was arrested on charges of Misuse of Public Office/Unlawful Solicitation and Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition. Both charges are felonies. Collins was booked into the Polk County Jail. He posted his $6,000 bond and was released. Deputy Collins, who had been with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office for over eleven years, resigned before being booked.