BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — A guilty verdict has been returned against a former Brevard County deputy sheriff accused of sex crimes against a girl.
Joseph Pallante, whose arrest grabbed headlines in 2014, was found guilty on all major counts against him.
Pallante took the stand Tuesday and tried to persuade a jury to keep him out of prison.
Pallante argued that prosecutors confused a harmless nudist lifestyle with criminal activity, and said that the victim lied about what he did to her.
“These sexual abuse allegations are absolutely ludicrous. I did nothing but protect (her) and take care of her,” Pallante said.
The allegations, according to prosecutors and a police report, are shocking. Pallante, a former Brevard County Sheriff’s Office deputy and criminal defense attorney, is charged with 55 crimes. They include forcing a young girl under 10 into sex acts, giving her vodka to drink and showing her pornography and then forcing her to do what was shown in the pornography.
“That absolutely never happened. She actually looked up the pornography, and I caught her looking it up,” Pallante said.
The police report said it all happened in Pallante’s Satellite Beach home, multiple times every month. According to the report, if the victim did not comply, Pallante would throw her around the room.
“I don’t understand why she made the allegations against me,” Pallante said.
Pallante’s defense was to utterly deny what the girl told police. He denied being obsessed with the victim and denied writing a song about her. He explained that nude images of him and the girl were not pornographic, and were nothing but harmless nudity.
The prosecution and defense both rested Tuesday afternoon.
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