Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Leon Campbell was jailed on October 19 for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl.
Campbell, 37, is charged with lewd or lascivious battery and sexual activity with a minor. Records show he was jailed on Thursday and released on $15,000 bond the following day. It is unclear if he has hired an attorney.
According to the arrest report, Campbell and the teenager had a sexual relationship that started in February 2015, right after the teen turned 15, and ended in May 2017. Campbell reportedly had sex with the teen multiple times. In one instance, he tied her up, made her wear a collar and leash, and spanked her with a whip, the arrest affidavit said.
The investigation that led to Campbell’s arrest Thursday began in May after the victim’s aunt and grandmother reported their suspicions to Lauderhill police. The teen is the niece of one of Campbell’s friends, and they met for the first time in 2015 when the teen moved in with her aunt.
In her statement to the police, the aunt said Campbell and the victim began to spend time together after the girl moved in. They purportedly had long phone conversations which made her suspect they were having some kind of relationship. The grandmother said she became concerned when the deputy inappropriately touched the girl’s chest at a family gathering under the guise of checking her temperature.
The aunt told police that she warned Campbell to stop his interactions with the teen, but he denied any wrongdoing. In a phone conversation with the aunt and the teen, Campbell allegedly admitted to having sex with the teen and apologized. He told the aunt that it “hadn’t started that way” and that he told the teen they had to end the relationship “because of his job.”
Investigators searched Campbell’s home and found several adult sex toys, including a whip containing traces of the victim’s DNA, the report said. They also discovered that the deputy and victim had exchanged hundreds of long phone calls between 2015 and 2017.
Campbell has been a police deputy for almost a decade. He worked as a road patrol deputy in Pompano Beach. He has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation.
“Deputy Leon Campbell’s actions are a reflection of himself and not the hard-working, dedicated men and women of the Broward Sheriff’s Office,” said Broward Sheriff Scott Israel in a statement to the press.
Lewd or lascivious battery is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. It occurs when an adult touches the breasts, genitals, or buttocks of a victim under the age of 16 with sexual intent.
A person can be charged with multiple counts of lewd or lascivious battery even if there is only one alleged victim. Prosecutors can file multi-count indictments when there are multiple encounters between the defendant and the victim, and this can affect the length of a defendant’s prison term.