Home News Aspiring police officer admitted to sexually abusing child during job interview

Aspiring police officer admitted to sexually abusing child during job interview

Stephen Bodley

Cristóbal Reyes
Orlando Sentinel

An aspiring police officer faces life in prison after admitting to sexually abusing his cousin during a job application and interview with the Apopka Police Department.

An Orange County jury convicted Stephen Bodley, 26, on Wednesday.

Bodley first mentioned “playing sexual games” with the victim on his application, then told his interviewer, a detective, that the victim “probably didn’t know what was going on,” according to an affidavit. Bodley said it happened several times at his childhood home in Apopka.

Detectives tracked down the victim’s mother, who said the victim and Bodley had a close relationship. The victim told police and the Florida Department of Children and Families about the abuse, recalling that it took place over several years, from when Bodley was around 14 to when he was about 19. While the victim’s age was redacted from court records, investigators said the abuse began when she was a child.

Bodley was later arrested at the Apopka Police Department after being called there by detectives and made similar confessions before he was taken to jail, court records show.

Leading up to the trial, Bodley’s lawyer filed a motion to suppress his comments during the job interview and later statements to detectives after his arrest. Circuit Judge Robert Egan allowed the comments made during the interview, but ruled against including Bodley’s post-arrest remarks.

At trial, Bodley denied sexually abusing his cousin despite his previous confessions. But a jury found him guilty of sexually battering a child under 12, which carries a life sentence.

Bodley’s sentencing hearing is set to take place June 24.

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