Palm Coast, FL - The investigation into a child sex abuse case results in the arrest of a man accused of inappropriately touching the 11-year-old daughter of his former girlfriend, who is deceased. Flagler County sheriff's deputies arrested 53-year-old Phillip Martin at his Palm Coast home on Thursday (November 7). He is charged with Lewd and Lascivious Molestation on a child under the age of 12.
Investigators responded to a call for a sex offense on July 2, 2019. The 11-year-old victim told detectives that Martin, a former boyfriend of the child's deceased mother, had been touching her inappropriately for more than a year.
The child lives with her grandparents and Martin was allowed to visit her at their home. The girl said the abuse took place when her grandparents left the room. She said she would try to get away from Martin when he touched her but he would pull her back and restrain her.
On July 29, FCSO detectives met with Martin to hear his side of the story. He admitted to inappropriately touching and groping the girl during questioning. His reason for the behavior was that he found her attractive and got gratification from the touching.
A warrant was signed for Martin's arrest yesterday (November 7). Deputies immediately went to his home and arrested him just after noon.
“I am very proud of our team for getting this pervert off of the streets and behind bars before he could hurt this child any further,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “It is sad that he would take advantage of this child knowing that her mother had recently passed and traumatized this child again. The damage that he has done to this girl can never be undone. I hope he spends the rest of his life in jail where he belongs.”
Martin is in the Flagler County Jail and is being held on no bond.