PRESS RELEASE: Members of the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Special Victims Unit (SVU) have arrested a St. Johns County Deputy Sheriff, following an overnight investigation into Lewd and Lascivious Behavior, which allegedly occurred several years ago.
Late Thursday night, Sheriff Shoar was notified of a victim, concerning a series of events where the suspect had inappropriately touched her over the course of 6 years, while she was a juvenile. The last contact occurring nearly ten years ago. Sheriff Shoar summoned detectives with the Special Victims Unit, which specializes in these types of criminal matters, to immediately investigate the allegations. Investigators met with the victim and conducted a thorough interview, which continued into Friday morning. Detectives contacted the deputy, identified as Jeffrey Lewis Cook, 51 of St. Augustine, and advised him of the criminal complaint against him. An interview was subsequently conducted with Cook at the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, which led to his arrest. Sheriff Shoar terminated Cook’s employment as SVU detectives were placing him under arrest. Cook was a 17 year employee of the Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Shoar stated, “Anyone who has heard me speak on these types of crimes, knows that I value our children, as well as seniors, as our highest priority for protection. I am both angry and saddened by these events, and while this incident involves one individual, it is not reflective of our agency or this honorable profession.” He continued, “As we have in the past, we will continue to police ourselves, and hold our people accountable, to ensure we maintain the highest standards of our profession.”
Currently, Cook is charged with one count of Lewd and Lascivious Molestation. SVU Detectives are continuing their investigation into the allegations against Cook. Although there are no indications of any other victims, anyone has anyone with additional information is asked to contact Detective Sergeant George Harrigan