DELTONA, Florida — A Deltona man is facing a child molestation charge after he was accused of hugging a 10-year-old girl and squeezing her buttocks while the girl walked to school Thursday morning. The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office investigated the incident into the evening, charging 32-year-old Adam Sturgeon with lewd or lascivious molestation.
Thursday’s incident occurred less than a half-mile from Sturgeon’s home on Barbarossa Avenue, and within short walking distance of nearby Friendship Elementary School. The victim said she was walking to the school with a younger brother and cousin when they encountered Sturgeon near the intersection of Cardena Avenue and Kimberly Drive.
Several parents in the neighborhood told deputies that they’ve been concerned for some time about Sturgeon’s odd and creepy behavior. Some said he often hangs around and plays with children in the neighborhood and recently had been trying to lure children to his house with promises of presents. And the victim’s mother told deputies that Sturgeon had commented in the past about how beautiful and sexy her daughter was. Thursday’s incident occurred at about 7:30 a.m., although concerns about Sturgeon’s behavior on Thursday weren’t reported to the Sheriff’s Office until 5:57 p.m.
According to the victim, when she walked past Sturgeon Thursday morning he asked her for a hug. She declined, but the defendant grabbed her by the waist and gave her a hug anyway and also squeezed her buttocks. The Sheriff’s Office received three calls about Sturgeon on Thursday.
In the second one, a resident called to report that Sturgeon was still in the neighborhood. A short while later, a resident on Lake Helen-Osteen Road called to report that Sturgeon had shown up at her house looking for a place to hide from deputies. About six minutes later, deputies found Sturgeon in the woman’s backyard and took him into custody at 6:48 p.m.
During questioning by a Sheriff’s Office sex crimes investigator, officials say Sturgeon gave inconstant and rambling responses, claiming everyone in the neighborhood was jealous of him and conspiring against him; sometimes he denied hugging the girl, and others times he admitted it. At one point, officials say Sturgeon told the investigator that he was planning to move to India and marry a princess.
Sturgeon is being held at the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach on $50,000 bond. Anyone with information about him is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office’s Sex Crimes Unit at (386) 254-1537.