A former law enforcement officer committed suicide in his jail cell after being arrested for allegedly molesting a girl under the age of 12. Police say the deputy touched and photographed a girlfriend's 10-year-old daughter.
Christopher Wayne Stufft, 49, of Largo, Florida was pronounced dead on July 5 after his body was discovered inside his jail cell at about 8:29 AM. A Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office news release described the death as an "apparent suicide."
He was found with a ligature on his neck created from items available in the cell at the time, the release said. An emergency medical team was called to the scene to attempt to resuscitate the former officer, but to no avail.
Stufft's next of kin have been notified, according to the release.
Stufft was arrested on a charge of sexual battery of a person under the age of 12 on July 1, according to The New York Post. The crime allegedly occurred on the same day Stufft was arrested.
The mother told police she went out for a cigarette at Stufft's residence. While she was gone, Stufft allegedly digitally penetrated the child and took photos of her on his phone, according to the release. The child informed the mother, who then informed police. Stufft at first denied he had committed any crime, but police were able to confirm the attack occurred through investigation, they said.
More information on the victim, including her name, will not be released to the public.
Stufft has no prior criminal record. He had previously worked as a deputy in Charles County, Maryland, from 2004 to 2009.
Investigations into both the sexual battery and the suicide are ongoing.
[Photo: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]