(As originally published with additional photos, Tue, November 21st 2023, 3:09 PM EST)
MIAMI (TND) — A former law enforcement officer faces life in federal prison after he was convicted of abusive sexual contact with a minor under 12 years old on a cruise ship.
Justin Dale Sigmon, 47, was vacationing with his family this past May on the Carnival ship, which departed from the Port of Miami.
While on board, he “repeatedly put his hands up the skirt of a nine-year-old,” the feds said, “rubbing her inner thighs and private area, despite her repeatedly pushing his hands away on multiple occasions.”
Authorities have not explained any relationship between Sigmon and the victim.
They continued, “Two good Samaritans, who were seated next to Sigmon in the cruise ship dining room, noticed his behavior, recorded it, and reported it to cruise ship security.
“The cruise ship’s surveillance cameras also captured Sigmon’s actions.
“When cruise security officials confronted him about his conduct, Sigmon identified himself as a law enforcement officer.”
He had been a major in the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, south of Roanoke, Va.
WSET reported that Sigmon claimed the touching was not intended to be “sexual,” but he admitted that if another man touched his daughter in the same way, he would “punch him in the face.”
Sigmon later told law enforcement he covered his crotch area because he was cold, and he denied being aroused.
Shortly after, the sheriff’s office announced Sigmon “resigned his position.”
He was convicted Friday after a five-day trial in Miami. Sentencing is set for Jan. 12.