The Federal Bureau of Investigations (“FBI”) arrested a cruise passenger last week on charges of abusive sexual contact with a young girl on a cruise ship, according to documents filed in federal court for the Southern District of Florida.

The FBI arrested 47 year-old Justin Dale Sigmon on the Carnival Sunshine when the cruise ship returned to port.

According to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office’s website, Sigmon was an employee of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office at the time of the arrest. On June 2nd, Sigmon resigned from his job at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office where he worked as a captain.

Sigmon was traveling with his family when another passenger videotaped him “molesting a (nine year-old) girl,” according to local Virginia news station WDBJ7. At the time of the incident, Sigmon was with his family in the dining room of the Carnival Sunshine cruise ship waiting for dinner to be served. The arresting FBI agent’s affidavit indicates that another passenger observed Sigmon molesting the girl who was sitting on his lap. The court file indicates the child is his daughter.  

The video reportedly shows Sigmon rubbing his daughter’s “upper and inner thighs underneath the skirt of her dress towards her vagina and buttocks.” During several points, the minor pushed Sigmon’s hand away. “Immediately after the child got off of his lap, Sigmon placed both of his hands over his crotch area for an extended period of time, concealing the area from public view.” A security camera on the cruise ship’ also captured video os the encounter.

When the FBI boarded the ship and interviewed Sigmon, the court file indicates that he “told law enforcement that he understood that the touching could be perceived as inappropriate, but claimed that it was not intended to be sexual.” Sigmon stated that if another man touched his daughter in the same way he would have “punched him in the face.” Sigmon also stated that he was covering his crotch area immediately following the touching because he was “cold,” and “denied being aroused by the incident.”

You can read the court file here.

The Franklin County Office of the Sheriff issued a statement:

“The Franklin County Office of the Sheriff was recently contacted regarding a federal criminal charge out of the state of Florida involving one of our members. Since that time, we have been working to gather all the information we can based on the limited amount provided by federal authorities. On Friday, June 2nd, 2023, we made the announcement to the staff of the Office of the Sheriff that Justin Sigmon had resigned his position. Our prayers are with the Sigmon Family.”

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