Tuesday Nov 29, 2022

Sheriff: Former volunteer died by suicide after sexually abusing 2 adults in Riverview – WTSP.com

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Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister described the case as a “clear example of domestic violence.”

RIVERVIEW, Fla. — A former law enforcement volunteer died by suicide overnight amid an investigation into accusations of sexual abuse.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday that Edward Brito, who had volunteered from February 2021 until June 2022, had been found dead.

In a news release, the sheriff’s office said he sexually battered two people early Monday morning, then proceeded to take his own life at a home in Riverview.

But, investigators had already been looking into him. Previously, in early June, Brito had been served a domestic violence injunction for sexual battery of one of the same individuals. He’d been taken off the volunteer list at that point.

“Brito’s volunteer status was immediately terminated as an investigation into the June incident was underway,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a statement. “HCSO is still awaiting DNA evidence from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) regarding that investigation, which may have led to criminal charges against him.”

All Brito’s sheriff’s office equipment was seized when he was let go on June 5.

During the time he was a volunteer, Brito was classified as an unpaid Reserve II deputy who logged about 38 hours per month. Reserve II perform general law enforcement tasks while being supervised by full-time deputies. They are often seen helping with off-duty details at community events.

“While mental health is often a factor in incidents of suicide, the actions of this former volunteer are monstrous and a clear example of domestic violence. Our agency goes through great lengths to identify individuals like this who should never wear the badge of Deputy Sheriff, from extensive background checks, polygraphs, interviews with neighbors, and personal and professional references,” Sheriff Chad Chronister wrote in a statement.

Chronister said domestic violence is never acceptable and won’t be tolerated at the sheriff’s office.

“I encourage anyone experiencing domestic violence to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for help at 813-247-8200 or reach out to one of many local resources, such as our community partners at the Spring of Tampa Bay at 813-247-7233,” he added.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached at 800-799-7233.

Source: https://www.wtsp.com/article/news/local/hillsboroughcounty/hillsborough-county-sheriff-volunteer-suicide/67-429de42d-aa9e-4109-b604-55a28c12380a

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