Former Seminole County judicial candidate accused of having sex with teen

Andrew Jones charged with unlawful sexual activity

By Brianna Volz - Web producer, Emilee Speck - Digital journalist
Copyright (c) 2018 CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - A man previously in the running for a Seminole County judicial seat is accused of having sex with a teenage girl, according to the Seminole County Sheriff's Office.

According to a report, the victim had been working at 40-year-old Andrew Jones' law firm the last few months, while also helping with Jones' judicial campaign. A family member, however, said the girl never worked at the law firm but might have worked on the campaign.

The victim was at Jones' Longwood home on a Friday night last month working on the campaign when "one thing led to another" and the two engaged in sexual intercourse, according to the report. She left early Saturday, the report said.

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When the two met up hours later to work on Jones' campaign, Jones asked the girl if she was on birth control, according to the report. The victim said she wasn't, which prompted Jones to drive her to a convenience store since they had unprotected sex, the report said.

During their investigation, deputies found surveillance video from a CVS in Longwood that showed Jones walking into the store wearing an "All Pro Dad" baseball cap, representing a program that prides itself on being committed to building fathers and husbands with strong character, according to its website. An Aug. 17 receipt from the Longwood store shows Jones paid for an emergency contraceptive pill, according to the report.

A few days later, the same hat was found and photographed by investigators during a search of Jones' home. A DNA swab also connected Jones to the alleged crime.

Jones is charged with three counts of unlawful sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 years of age.

Officials with The Florida Bar told News 6 Tuesday that Jones was in good standing, as he has no discipline history. However, that could change as his case progresses.

"If he is charged, he has an obligation to report a felony charge to the Bar, under The Rules Regulating The Florida Bar.

See Rule 3-7.2 (c)
(c) Notice of Institution of Felony Criminal Charges. Any member of The Florida Bar who is the subject of a felony criminal charge must notify the executive director of The Florida Bar of the charges within 10 days of the filing of the indictment or information and include a copy of the indictment or information. 

When The Florida Bar learns of the arrest of a member, the Bar opens a file to follow the progression of the criminal case."

"Dave Webster and I are helping Andrew work through this situation. We have been cooperating with law enforcement since day one and will continue to. I look forward to working with the assistant state attorney to resolve this in a way that is acceptable to everybody and gets it taken care of quickly," lawyer Mark O'Mara said.

Records from the Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Office show Jones was running for Group 6 county judge and had raised more than $170,000.

Jones has since withdrawn from the race, records show.

According to a letter sent to the Seminole County Supervisor of Elections, Jones submitted a written notification of his withdraw from the race on Aug. 26.

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