Citrus County, FL) On March 12th, 2021, the Honorable Judge Howard sentenced 46-year-old Lawrence Hunt to 25 years in prison followed by lifetime probation for a 2020 Sexual Assault case.
The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) was contacted on January 22nd, 2020, by the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) in reference to a past sexual assault of a juvenile. A CCSO School Resource Deputy, along with a DCF investigator, made contact with the juvenile victim who disclosed that the suspect, identified as Lawrence Henry Hunt, had sexually assaulted the victim multiple times.
Detective Tiffany Barry with the CCSO Special Victims Unit (SVU) responded and began an investigation where she discovered evidence supporting the victim’s allegations. Arrangements were made for Detective Barry to interview Hunt and, over the course of the interview, Hunt made statements confirming the victim’s allegations of past sexual assaults.
Hunt was placed under arrest after the interview, for one count of Lewd and Lascivious Molestation and one count of Sexual Battery on a Person Less than 12. He was held at the Citrus County Jail without bond, per the bond schedule, awaiting trial.
The victim, later interviewed by the Child Protection Team at Citrus County’s Child Advocacy Center (Jessie’s Place), provided further details of sexual abuse which spanned an eight year period, beginning when the victim was just four years old. On March 12th, 2021, Hunt plead guilty to two counts of Attempted Sexual Battery on a Child Less Than 12 Years Old, one count of Sexual Battery on a Child Less than 18 Years Old, and one count of Lewd and Lascivious Molestation on a Child Less than 12 Years Old.
“With this sentence, we have the opportunity to watch justice being served in a case where an innocent child was so grossly exploited,” said Sheriff Mike Prendergast. “The tireless work of individuals like Detective Barry, as well as the teams at the Department of Children and Families and Jessie’s Place, is immeasurably important in giving these victims back the control of their lives so they can begin to heal. Great work to all those involved in this case.”