Deputy arrested for soliciting minor faces additional child pornography charges, officials say

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — An Orange County deputy arrested last week for soliciting a minor involved in a sex crimes case he was investigating is facing additional charges, according to the sheriff’s office.


Deputy Charles Cruz admitted during his post-Miranda interview to obtaining and possessing child pornography, according to a news release.

A search warrant was obtained to search his residence, wherein child pornography was found, the news release states. Cruz is now facing 11 charges of possession of material depicting sexual performance by a child.

READ: Orange County deputy arrested for soliciting minor in sex crimes case, sheriff says

“These are no words to convey my disgust that someone who once wore an Orange County Sheriff’s Office uniform was involved in this behavior,” Sheriff John Mina stated in a news release. “My hope is that he will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

While recently working patrol duty, Cruz responded to a call for service at the home of a minor who was already working with the sheriff’s office’s Sex Crimes Unit because she had already been a victim of sexual cyberharassment, according to a news release.

READ: Deputies release minute-by-minute timeline of shootings that killed woman, reporter & girl

In the course of his criminal mischief investigation, Cruz allegedly made inappropriate contact with the minor via text message that became more inappropriate “as he tried to gauge the minor’s interest in meeting in person,” according to a news release.

On Thursday, a detective assumed the identity of the minor and texted with Cruz. Through the course of that conversation, Cruz made “made sexually explicit comments to the person he believed was the minor,” the news release states.

READ: Man accused of shooting his girlfriend at DeBary park surrenders

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.