The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office has reported that a former employee, Justin Sigmon, age 47, has resigned his position. Sigmon is facing a federal criminal charge after allegedly sexually abusing a minor.
In online court documents submitted by the FBI, the incident reportedly occurred while Sigmon and his family were on a cruise aboard a Carnival Sunrise cruise ship. The Carnival Sunrise cruise ship departed from the Port of Miami on May 25, 2023.
According to investigators, a witness in the cruise ship’s dining room observed Sigmon’s 9-year-old female relative sitting on Sigmon’s lap and rubbing the victim’s upper and inner thighs while moving towards her “private area” with his right hand. The incident was reportedly video recorded by the witness and surveillance cameras in the cruise ship’s dining area.
Investigators also report that immediately after the victim got off of Sigmon’s lap, he “placed both of his hands over his crotch for an extended period of time, concealing the area from public view.”
According to court documents, a forensic interviewer spoke with the victim. The victim denied that Sigmon touched her private area, but rather her calf. Investigators noted that the video recordings “directly refute” the victim’s recollection of events.
Sigmon did consent to an interview with officials, but it was not recorded. Investigators noted that Sigmon informed officials that he understood the touching could be perceived as “inappropriate,” but claimed the incident was not intended to be of a “sexual” nature. Sigmon also informed police that he covered his crotch area because he was “cold,” and denied by aroused by the incident.
On June 3, 2023, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office released the following statement to Smith Mountain Eagle:
“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.” – Franklin County Sheriff’s Office
Sigmon is currently being held in jail without bond.