Former Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office lieutenant facing charges | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A former Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office lieutenant is locked up in the St. Johns County jail charged with three counts of sexual battery against a child.

The arrest of Christopher Tyree stems from the latest in a string of sexual allegations made against the former officer, several made while he was employed by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. According to reports, JSO was aware of the allegations against Tyree since 2007, when an alleged victim was between 6 and 8-years-old but didn’t take any disciplinary action until 2013. Tyree resigned in 2013. 

On April 17, 2007, while Tyree was employed by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, a child and her parents met with St. Johns County detectives to report Tyree touched the girl inappropriately, according to the report. It says detectives then notified JSO. JSO told them it had worked a child pornography case on Tyree a few months. 

Tyree’s now ex-wife reported she had seen him in possession of child pornography on his computer. The report says Tyree was cooperative and turned over his computer but nothing illegal was found. The report says there was no proof to support the allegations. 

Later that month, the report says his ex-wife says she found more child pornography images and carried the computer around with her for weeks. She says she didn’t turn it over to law enforcement at the time because he had her convinced nobody would believe her because he was a police officer. 

In June 2007, Tyree’s girlfriend at the time told detectives he was contacted to meet with the undersheriff at JSO and was upset about the allegations of touching someone inappropriately. The next month, because of lack of evidence the case was closed. Tyree was still employed by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. 

The case against Tyree was reopened in 2013. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Integrity Unit got involved in regards to reports of Tyree allegedly having sex with a relative. Detectives interviewed the relative and advised that Tyree had been under investigation for his behavior for several years. 

On December 19, 2013, after texting his ex-wife apologizing for the pain he caused, Tyree notified a JSO lieutenant of the circumstances. JSO Internal Affairs told Tyree he was suspended but instead, he turned in his letter of resignation. 

According to the report, the relative told detectives Tyree resigned because he was worried about criminal charges but was ready to retire and not willing to deal with the rumors and potential consequences of criminal charges.

In February 2014, the report says detectives decided there is sufficient probable cause to believe Tyree engaged in sexual activity with the relative, specifically oral sex. However, they did not believe there was enough probable cause to support accusations they engaged in sexual intercourse, and therefore the crime of incest was not charged. 

Fast forward to 2022, according to a police report, an alleged victim contacted law enforcement in April saying Tyree had abused her during sleepovers and had sex with her when she was six years old. The report says St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office detectives located a prior 2007 criminal complaint made by two girls, ages 9 and 10, and a 2017 case from Volusia County.

“He is no different than any of the sexual predator that’s out on the street. He has got a pattern at least that’s documented that we know of, from 2007, carrying on through until 2014,” First Coast News Crime and Safety Expert Mark Baughman said. 

The latest report says based on the information, Tyree did knowingly and willfully violate the juvenile victim. He was arrested in August and charged with three counts of sexual battery against a child. The report says detectives interviewed Tyree in November 2022 and he denied all allegations. 

Baughman says the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office could have taken more action. 

“He held rank. He’s in a position of trust and authority within that department, trust in the community within a major metropolitan sheriff’s office,” Baughman said. “JSO throughout the course of the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office investigations made JSO aware of it either their Integrity Unit and or their Internal Affairs Division. When you look at his work record, it really doesn’t reflect anything in regards to that. “

Christopher Tyree has pleaded not guilty to three counts of sexual battery against a child. Tyree is being held in on a $1.5 million bond. 

“They’re all capital offenses. You’re talking 20 to 25 years (in prison),” Baughman added. 

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office referred questions and a request for comment to the agency’s public records portal. Tyree’s attorney declined our request for comment about the case.


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