Flint police officer facing 9 more child sex abuse charges involving second victim
FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - A Flint police officer is facing nine more child sex charges after investigators say a second underage female victim came forward.
Justin McLeod, who has worked with the Flint Police Department for nearly five years, originally was charged last week with nine crimes related to alleged sexual abuse involving a girl under age 13 who was part of his “circle of influence.”
The new charges announced Wednesday involving a second alleged victim bring the total number of charges against 36-year-old McLeod to 18. The second alleged victim was described only as another young female under McLeod’s “circle of influence” who now is an adult.
“It’s nauseating to think that he ever wore a police uniform, because while he was sworn to protect and serve, he was preying and hurting,” said Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson.
The woman claims she endured two and a half years of sexual abuse from McLeod until her family moved out of the area. She came forward after hearing news of the first alleged victim last week.
“The photo that is shown using the leverage of media is there to give a green light to other victims to say the monster -- that the predator -- is in custody. It’s safe to come out,” Swanson said.
The second alleged victim stayed silent because she believed she was McLeod’s only victim until last week.
“They didn’t want to destroy the family, so they kept it inside. But when they saw the courage of number one, they knew they had to come forward and tell their story and they did, and it was a compelling one,” Swanson said.
McLeod is facing several counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, which carry a prison sentence of 25 years to life if he is convicted.
“We won’t have a problem with this guy hurting our people again. I promise you that,” said Swanson.
Authorities began investigating McLeod last week after the first victim contacted a nurse and detailed the allegations against him on the evening of Nov. 15. The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, Flushing Township Police Department and Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team (GHOST) raided a residence on McKinley Road as part of the investigation.
McLeod, who was on the Flint Police Department’s K-9 team since 2018, was arrested and Flint Police Chief Terence Green said termination proceedings began Nov. 16 to remove McLeod from his position.
“Absolutely, he used his position as not only a police officer but a canine officer to use as a leverage, as a an authority over this individual,” Swanson said of the second alleged victim.
He accused McLeod of grooming his victims over several years. Police welcome any more alleged victims of McLeod to contact the sheriff’s office.
“We know that they just don’t stop at one. It’s just not common,” Swanson said. “So I’m hoping that if any victim out there hears the story -- has the ability to trust the system that we will protect you.”
McLeod remained in custody at the Genesee County Jail on Wednesday with no bond offered.
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