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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Outraged boss triggers investigation that uncovers alleged sexual abuse of young girl

Joseph Daniel Russell
Joseph Daniel Russell

The outrage of a Leesburg man’s boss triggered an investigation that uncovered the man’s alleged sexual abuse of a young girl entrusted to his care.

The boss contacted the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office earlier this month after 43-year-old Joseph Daniel Russell’s fellow employees at a Bushnell workplace saw Russell holding a cell phone which showed a minor apparently asleep while a male was placing his genitals on her face. The boss noticed what the employees were looking at and grabbed the phone from Russell, demanding an explanation about the images. Russell took back the phone and at that point the boss told him that he was fired and ordered him off the property. Russell began to collect his belongings when the employer said he was going to “count to three” and Russell better be gone when he got to three. When the boss reached the number three, he started toward Russell who dropped everything and ran away, leaving behind two cell phones and a computer tablet. The boss gathered the items and turned them over to law enforcement.

After obtaining a search warrant, deputies examined the cell phone which contained video showing Russell masturbating and ejaculating onto a small pair of female underwear. Then detectives also recovered from the cell phone contact information for the girl.

Detectives obtained a statement from the girl in which she stated that Russell had penetrated her with his fingers and penis. The detectives also interviewed two of the child’s friends who said she had complained to them about Russell’s abuse.

When detectives questioned Russell he admitted to ejaculating on the victim’s underwear, but he denied ever touching her.

The detectives arrested Russell who is facing two counts of sexual battery by someone over the age of 18 to someone under the age of 12. No bond was set as this is a capital offense. He was being held at the Sumter County Detention Center.

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