Holly Hill Man Charged With Molesting 14-Year-Old Girl

Deputies say other victims are possible

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Holly Hill, FL - A Holly Hill man has been charged for molesting a 14-year-old female at a Daytona Beach-area RC racing track, now Volusia County deputies are seeing whether or not he has other victims.

Investigators from the Volusia Sheriff's Office (VSO) say 33-year-old Joseph Bruce—an active board member at the Strickland RC Raceway where he performs track maintenance and car repairs—was previously accused of molesting another young girl in Holly Hill, but the case was not prosecuted becuase of a lack of evidence and cooperation.

VSO said the Holly Hill Police Department filed a charging affidavit with the State Attorney's Office back in December accusing Bruce of sexual battery and lewd or lascivious conduct with another juvenile female victim who said he made her perform a sex act on him.

In their latest investigation, detectives with VSO's Child Exploitation Unit were told on Friday (July 23) that the victim's parents found a sexually explicit text conversation with Bruce on their daughter's cell phone. The parents notified the Port Orange Police Department after discovering the text, then Port Orange police notified the sheriff's office as the incident had occurred within VSO's jurisdiction.

According to investigators, Bruce began texting the victim earlier this month. The victim told deputies the conversation became sexual in nature and soon led to an incident of sexual abuse inside a trailer at the RC track. Bruce additionally sent the victim explicit photos and videos and discussed her performing more sex acts on him in the future.

Deputies took Bruce into custody with an arrest warrant on Tuesday night (July 27). Bruce has been charged with lewd or lascivious battery, lewd or lascivious molestation; use of a computer to seduce/solicit/lure a child; two counts of transmission of harmful material to a minor; and promoting sexual performance of a child. He remains in the Volusia County Branch Jail on a $260,000 bond pending his first appearance.

Investigators say additional charges are possible as detectives search for other victims. Anyone who may have been a victim or who has additional information to provide is urged to call the Child Exploitation Unit at (386) 323-3574.

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