SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — A federal judge Wednesday ordered electronic monitoring of Joel Greenberg following recent allegations Seminole County’s former tax collector had a “sugar daddy" relationship with a teenage girl.
What You Need To Know
- Child sex-trafficking charge filed last week against Joel Greenberg
- Federal judge orders him to have no contact with alleged victim
- The couple already have been evicted
- Charge carries a penalty of 10 years to life in federal prison
Federal prosecutors hit Greenberg with an updated indictment on August 19, including a charge of sex trafficking of children or by force, fraud or coercion.
As a result of that charge, U.S. Magistrate Judge Embry J. Kidd modified the conditions of Greenberg’s release, adding electronic monitoring, a curfew and an order to have no contact with the alleged victim.
Greenberg has pleaded not guilty to the sex-trafficking charge and all of the other charges filed against him since the first batch became public June 23. He quit the next day and later dropped his bid for re-election this year.
His permanent replacement will be decided November 3. That’s when Republican Jeff “J.R.” Kroll will face off against Democratic challenger Lynn Moira Dictor.
Federal court records say the alleged sex-trafficking victim was between 14 and 18 during the “sugar daddy" relationship, which allegedly ran from May 2017 and November 2017.
Federal prosecutors say Greenberg “recruited, enticed, obtained, maintained, and patronized” the teen, though records don’t offer specifics.
Under Kidd’s three-page order, Greenberg must stay home from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. every day.
“Defendant shall avoid all contact with any alleged victim of the charged offenses and with any potential witnesses who may testify concerning the offenses,” the judge’s order says.
The order says federal prosecutors requested the judge to impose the additional limits on Greenberg without a hearing. Greenberg did not oppose the request.
The judge also canceled a hearing scheduled for Thursday, August 27.
The judge was “obligated to impose upon Mr. Greenberg the mandatory conditions” because of the child sex-trafficking charge, Kidd wrote.
The charge carries a penalty of at least 10 years to as much as life in federal prison.
Greenberg also faces charges related to an alleged identity-theft scheme against a political foe.
While still in office, Greenberg left behind fingerprints and DNA on letters while posing as a student and falsely accusing the foe of sexually abusing a child, records allege.
Greenberg allegedly sent nine letters to the foe’s employer posing as a fictitious “very concerned student” with false claims about his enemy’s sexual relationship with a student, prosecutors said.
Spectrum News is not naming the political foe because the allegations are false.
Greenberg also allegedly fabricated a fake Facebook account that claimed to belong to a “very concerned teacher” at his enemy’s school.
He is also responsible, prosecutors say, for a fake Twitter account set up under the name and with the photo of his enemy while falsely portraying him as a white supremacist.
Greenberg is also accused of using driver’s licenses that should have been shredded to create false IDs with his photo and someone else’s personal information.
Greenberg, whose duties as tax collector included renewing existing drivers licenses and making news one, allegedly failed to destroy old licenses and used those records to create fake IDs, prosecutors alleged.
He also had access to a secure database mostly used by law enforcement called The Florida Driver and Vehicle Information Database, or DAVID.
He improperly used discarded licenses that should have been shredded and illegally obtained DAVID info to create new IDs for individuals involved in Greenberg’s alleged "sugar daddy" relationships, federal prosecutors allege.
He created a false identification document to facilitate his efforts to engage in commercial sex trafficking of a child, prosecutors say in court filings.