Baker sheriff: Corrections officer had sex with teen

Published On: Apr 10 2014 04:48:41 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 10 2014 06:40:00 PM EDT

Baker County Sheriff's Office booking photo of John Wesley Padgett


A 30-year-old Florida corrections officer is accused of having intercourse with a 15-year-old Baker County High School girl, who ended up becoming pregnant.

John Padgett was arrested by the Baker County Sheriff's Office on a charge of lewd and lascivious behavior with a victim under 18.  According to the arrest report, the victim was a relative.

The investigation began in January when the girl told her mother she was pregnant.  The victim originally said she had consensual sex with a man who offered to give her a ride home when she missed the bus.  She said after having sex, the man dropped her off at her home and she never saw him again.

"We had received a report some months ago about the possibility that this young lady had been raped by a stranger, but of course we were never able to develop any information that would be able to warrant an arrest," said Baker County Sheriff Joey Dobson.

Last month the mother called investigators to say that she'd learned the baby's father was Padgett.

During a phone call between the victim's mother and Padgett recorded by the Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, she asked what made him think it was OK for him to have sex with her daughter.

"I really truthfully don't know," he said, according to a transcript in the arrest report. "I can't answer that. I wouldn't thinking at all. I'm telling you, I don't know what in the world. I'm, I don't know. I don't know how to answer."

He went on to tell the victim's mother that he would support the child, adding, "I don't have to play the daddy role."

Padgett was arrested about 2 a.m. Wednesday and at first appearance later in the day was ordered held on $250,000 bond.  The state attorney's office could make a decision to increase the charge to sexual battery.

The victim is now 16.  DNA testing will be done after the baby is born to confirm paternity.

Padgett has been fired since his arrest.


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