FWC officer arrested for lewd battery on a 14-year-old girl

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PORT CHARLOTTE, FL. - Charlotte County Sheriff's detectives have arrested a State Wildlife Officer they say was having sex with a 14-year-old girl.

In July 2012, investigators say they saw FWC Officer John Hoover leaving an abandoned house with a young girl.  At the time, the 37-year old Hoover told them, he'd caught the girl inside with another man, and that he would handle the investigation.   But new details surfaced in January that eventually led deputies to determine that Hoover had sex with the girl.

The incident that was almost swept under the rug, but after repeated questioning, the 14-year-old gave officials enough information to make an arrest.

The shocking allegations rock the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.  "We are deeply disappointed to hear about this as we hold out officers to the highest standers," said Katie Purcell the Community Relations Coordinator for FWC.

According to the police report, the first sexual encounter happened in an FWC truck while the officer was on duty.  They were parked down a dirt road near Collingswood Boulevard.

The second encounter happened at a vacant house off  Foxglove Road. The report goes on to say the girl showed investigators the room where she and the officer would have sex.

She also said after one of the encounters she was given $160.  The incidents resulted in Officer Hoover being arrested and charged with 2 counts of Lewd Battery.

"Mr. Hoover resigned from FWC just prior to being arrested by the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office. So he no longer works for us and we will determine internally if any further action needs to be taken," said Purcell.

Reports show the 14-year-old is no stranger to trouble. She is a known run-away who has been arrested several times.  In fact the statements that lead to Hoover's arrest were made after she was taken into custody for violating her probation. 

Hoover turned himself in and was released on $10,000 bail.