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INVESTIGATION DETAILS: Wakulla School Resource Officer terminated following molestation charge involving minor

Arrest was made September 18
Posted at 6:12 PM, Sep 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-22 18:12:27-04

CRAWFORDVILLE, Fla. (WTXL) — A Wakulla County Deputy is off the job following molestation charges. ABC 27 obtained an arrest report detailing why deputies took Kenneth Linwood Malphurs, 32, into custody.

In the report dated Sept. 18, 2023, it states:

"On April 28th, 2021, the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office (WCSO) received a complaint involving a minor...being sexually assaulted by...Kenneth Malphurs (WCSO Student Resource Officer). The report was forwarded to WCSO Criminal Investigations Division (C.I.D.) for further investigation."

The report goes on to say over the course of the investigation, "the victim provided a positive disclosure for sexual abuse at the hands of Kenneth Malphurs." The report goes on to say the alleged victim, "appeared to have normal cognitive functioning for her age group. She was able to articulate the difference between a truthful statement and a lie. She agreed to tell the truth."

ABC 27 reached out to the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office for comment following the release of the report. In a statement emailed to ABC 27, a spokesperson wrote:

"On Monday September 18, 2023 the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division detectives arrested Kenneth Linwood Malphurs, 32 years of age, for Lewd or Lascivious Molestation, Florida Statute 800.04 - (Offender over the age of 18, Victim less than 12 years old).

At the time this investigation was initiated, Kenneth Malphurs was employed by the WCSO Sheriff’s Office in the capacity of a Deputy Sheriff. Kenneth Malphurs was placed on administrative leave in accordance with agency policy. The report was forwarded to detectives with the Criminal Investigations Division where an extensive investigation was completed. Detectives communicated with the Wakulla County State Attorney’s Office throughout the lengthy investigation, ultimately receiving approval of the State Attorney’s Office, and the Circuit Court Judge for an arrest warrant charging Kenneth Malphurs with violating F.S.S. 800.04 - Lewd or Lascivious Molestation (Offender over the age of 18, Victim less than 12 years old). Kenneth Malphurs was transported to the Wakulla County Jail where he is currently being held without bond. As a result of the investigation’s findings Malphurs was subsequently terminated from the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office.

All arrestees are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law and both the criminal investigation remains ongoing. As such WCSO will not offer further comment on this case until it has been adjudicated in the court system."

ABC 27 also reached out to Wakulla County School Superintendent, Robert Pearce. Friday afternoon, the district sent us the following statement:

"The ex-resource officer in question was one of eleven resource officer positions that the Wakulla County School Board contracts for with the Wakulla County Sheriff’s department. He was removed from his position by the Sheriff’s department and replaced with another officer in the spring of 2021. The Wakulla County School District is not involved in this investigation currently. All questions should be forwarded to the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Department."