John Paul Schaffer of Southwest Ranches, Florida was arrested Wednesday for his allegedly sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl, news sources report. Schaffer, 48, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on charges of interfering with the custody of a minor, sexual assault, and sexual battery. His bail bond was set at $210,000. It is not yet known whether he has obtained an attorney.
According to reports, the victim’s father alerted police to the illicit relationship on Tuesday, when he was unable to locate his daughter. Schaffer reportedly met with the girl at her high school that day and took her to his house in the 17200 block of Southwest 48th Street. The girl’s father began looking for her following the incident and tried to get a hold of Schaffer several times with no response. It is currently unclear whether the father knew or suspected that Schaffer and his daughter were intimately involved.
Reports say Shaffer sent the father a message sometime later saying he did not know the victim’s whereabouts. However, the father called police and Broward County officers arrived at Shaffer’s home. After conducting surveillance on the home for an hour, Shaffer and the victim emerged from the house and the officers took Shaffer into custody. During police questioning, the victim told police that her sexual encounters with Shaffer were consensual. The age of consent in Florida is 18 if the other party is 24 years of age or older.
“You apparently were deceptive in either confining or hiding this alleged victim from her father when you knew allegedly her father was trying to find her,” a Broward County Judge said during Shaffer’s court hearing. “It appears the police weren’t too far behind.”
Shaffer was not the only South Florida man booked into jail on charges of having sex with a minor. John Michael Hoover, a Port Charlotte Wildlife Officer, was arrested Tuesday after he was accused of having sex with a 14-year-old girl, reports say. Hoover was booked into the Charlotte County Jail on charges of lewd battery on a minor. He was later released on $10,000 bail bond. It is unclear whether he has hired legal representation.
Reports say Hoover works for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. It is unclear whether he was on duty during the alleged battery. It is also not yet known how his arrest will affect his position with the commission. The FFWCC has not yet released a statement regarding Hoover’s arrest.
According to reports, the incident occurred in July 2012. Officers noticed Hoover and the victim leaving a vacant home in Port Charlotte, sources say. When approached and questioned, Hoover reportedly told the officers that found the victim in the house with an unidentified man that fled the scene; Hoover told the officers he would look into the incident.
In January, Port Charlotte detectives received new information indicating that Hoover had sex with the victim two times. It is unclear whether one of those alleged sexual encounters occurred while Hoover was with the victim at the vacant home. An investigation is ongoing.