OCALA, Fla. — A Florida Highway Patrol trooper was arrested and fired after admiting to having sex with a 15-year-old Marion County girl he met in a March crash investigation, records show.
- FHP fired Christopher Michael Delrusso
- Suspect sent girl explict Snapchat video
- Ex-trooper posted bond, released from jail
Christopher Michael Delrusso, 26, of Micanopy, Florida was arrested Thursday and charged with lewd and lascivious battery on a victim between 12 and 16 and transmitting information harmful to minors, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said.
Delrusso admitted sending the girl a sexually explicit Snapchat video. He also acknowledged having sex with her in the cab of his 2017 white Dodge Ram on June 9 in the woods near her home.
Delrusso was fired, FHP Lt. Pete Bergstresser told Spectrum News on Friday.
“He was hired on November 10, 2014,” Bergstresser said in an email. “The investigation is ongoing and no further information is available at this time.”
The punishment for lewd and lascivious battery on a child, a second-degree felony, is as much as 15 years in prison.
The harmful-transmission charge, a third-degree felony, is punishable by as much as five years in prison.
He was released from the Marion County Jail after posting a $25,000 bond on Friday.
The report didn’t provide additional details about the crash, including where and what happened. She was hospitalized.
In an interview, Delrusso said he tracked down the girl after she was released from the hospital “to issue her criminal citations,” an arrest report said.
He gave her his personal phone number because he didn’t have an agency phone and so they could communicate about the crash investigation.
“The defendant admitted to their communications growing sexually explicit and inappropriate,” his arrest report alleged.
Authorities began investigating Delrusso after a woman who isn’t identified in his arrest report noticed unusual behavior between Delrusso and the girl on two separate visits to her home.
Before Delrusso's second visit, the woman told investigators she noticed the girl put on makeup and made sure she looked “presentable,” behaviors out of the girl’s “normal routine,” the report said.
When Delrusso arrived, he told the woman he needed to record a statement from the girl in his patrol vehicle about the crash.
She noticed “the lights were off in the defendant's FHP patrol vehicle, and she was confused as to how they would be having a video recorded interview,” the arrest report said.
The woman confiscated the girl’s phone because the teen would not let her look through it.
The girl later gave her phone’s password to child-abuse officials and cooperated with their investigation. An investigator found a video of an adult male later identified as Delrusso performing a sex act on himself in “a hidden section of her photos library,” the report said.
In a recorded interview, the girl said Delrusso obtained her phone number during the crash investigation and “she had sent him some naked photos, but it was a long time ago.”
Delrusso created the Snapchat video June 7. The girl told investigators they had sex in the cab of his 2017 white Dodge Ram on June 9.
Anyone with information about Delrusso can call Detective Sutliff at 352-368-3546.