CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Department of Corrections chaplain was arrested on multiple child sex charges, according to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office.
Robert William Austin, 58, of Sanderson, was allegedly sending explicit messages to a “14-year-old girl,” who happened to be an undercover detective, according to the sheriff’s office. Austin allegedly knew of the “juvenile’s” age, but continued to send messages.
Austin reportedly sent a message to the “juvenile” on Friday, stating he was fishing in Jacksonville, according to the sheriff’s office. Detectives contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to determine his location.
Citrus County deputies went to Jacksonville and found Austin, according to the sheriff’s office. He was arrested on seven counts of transmission of harmful material to a minor, two counts of computer pornography — seducing, soliciting, luring, or enticing a child to engage in an illegal act, and one count of unlawful use of a 2-way communication device.
“The safety of everyone in our respective communities is a common goal amongst all law enforcement of this great state,” Sheriff Mike Prendergast said in a statement. “Austin knowingly sent sexually explicit messages to who he believed was a minor. Preying on children is despicable — especially when you are in a position of trust, and you utilize that status for vile acts. Thanks to the continuous partnerships between CCSO and fellow agencies throughout Florida, this abhorrent individual was brought to justice.”