Osceola Sheriff Marcos Lopez responds to accusations of sending inappropriate text

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — 9 Investigates has gathered new information on accusations claiming Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez made a lewd comment about a nude picture of a civilian employee.


Lopez held his first news conference Tuesday morning since Channel 9 reported the allegations.

9 Investigates reporter Ashlyn Webb asked Lopez and his spokesperson for a response to the allegations, specifically whether he did or did not make that lewd comment.

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A spokesperson for the agency is now claiming the allegation is simply “a rumor” and that it’s a product of the current election season.

Channel 9 first reported on the allegations last Thursday after confirming a former deputy, Alex Valentin, received a nude picture from a young female civilian employee in 2022.

Former deputy Samantha Sanchez was dating Valentin at the time when she says she found the photo of another woman on his phone.

Sanchez says she also found text conversations between Valentin and Sheriff Lopez about the photo. She took a screenshot of that alleged conversation and later reported it to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

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Now the allegations will be discussed in evidentiary hearings as Sanchez fights to get her job back.

She was accused of lying about her whereabouts when she was running late for work.

However, Sanchez says she feels her termination was retaliatory after another deputy learned she had screenshots of the inappropriate text conversation her ex-boyfriend allegedly had with sheriff Lopez.

Tuesday’s response from the sheriff’s office is different from what they said in a statement last week.

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At that time, the agency would not confirm or deny the allegations saying, in part, “Multiple IT specialists have looked at this photograph and have serious concerns about its authenticity.”

It’s unclear whether that statement was referring to the screenshot of the text conversation or the nude photograph.

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