Deputies accused of meeting for sex while on the job tell their side of story



SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Two former Seminole County deputies accused of having sex on the job and sending thousands of sexually explicit messages to each other while on duty sat down to talk with Channel 9 on Thursday.

Valencia LaRue and Joseph Fetchick told WFTV's Tim Barber they never left their posts and their lawyer said they're now looking to file a federal lawsuit.

Channel 9 reported earlier this week how the two deputies sent over 7,000 messages, many explicit, to each other while on duty.

"Among the more tamed messages were things like, "I'm keeping your bed warm," and "I'm stopping by for a quickie!"

LaRue and Fetchick, who said they're now in love, told Barber those texts and the others were obtained illegally by Fetchick's wife, who their attorney said illegally intercepted them.

The couple said a lot of what was stated in the Sheriff's Office investigation is not true, but officials there stand by their report.

"I was upset, horrified," said LaRue.

LaRue and Fetchick spent a combined 26 years as Seminole County deputies, but their careers came to a dramatic conclusion when Fetchick's wife uncovered their explicit texts and took them to the sheriff's office.

"I was appalled," said Fetchick.

LaRue resigned, but Fetchick was fired.

Attorney Jason Harr now wants a judge to determine if the Sheriff's Office illegally obtained the messages because he believes Fetchick's wife stole them.

"At no point in time did Sheriff (Don) Eslinger's office provide my officer with a warrant to look at any stored communication device," said Harr.

WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said unless the wife obtained the texts at the direction of the Sheriff's Office, the texts should be admissible and the couple could have their law enforcement certificates suspended or revoked.

"It is unlikely that law enforcement is going to accept the excuse that we were just role playing, and we were not following through," said Sheaffer.

Fetchick is also accused of leaving his post at Milwee Middle School to have sex with LaRue, but Fetchick claims he just went to lunch.

"Every time they have had an issue, they have called me and I have always answered. Never had an issue," said Fetchick.

The principal, however, said there were four occasions where they couldn't reach Fetchick.

"That, I don't know, but I have been there for five months and when they had a meeting with the sergeant and the lieutenant said I was doing an absolutely great job," said Fetchick.

Since resigning, LaRue is opening up a bar in Sanford. Fetchick wants his job back.

Both want everyone to hold their opinions until a judge decides what happened.

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