Early in the afternoon of Saturday (Dec. 22), a 15-year-old boy reported to a Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy that as he was walking the path around the pond at Graham Swamp, a man twice his age approached him and allegedly engaged in inappropriate sexual acts.
The 15-year-old is referred to as C.R. in a police report that narrates the incident. According to that report, C.R. told authorities that a man of about 30, wearing dark shades, a black shirt and a jacket, pulled down his pants and exposed himself to the boy. Then, according to the report, the man “grabbed the juvenile,” pulled the juvenile’s pants and underwear down, and touched his genitals. C.R. told police he was able to break free, run to the parking lot, call the cops, then call his parents, who then arrived at the scene.
The deputy searched the area where the encounter had been reported and made contact with Jason Stockwell, 33, of 48 Clubhouse Drive. Stockwell, who matched the description C.R. had provided, was brought in the presence of C.R., who positively identified the older man as the person with whom he’d had the encounter, according to the report.
Deputies spoke with an 81-year-old man who told them that he had been sitting in his truck in the Graham Swamp parking lot when he saw a red vehicle pull up and a man—allegedly, Stockwell—exit the vehicle and begin walking down a path. The 81-year-old man then saw C.R. walking behind Stockwell, as if following him from a distance of about 6 to 10 feet. The older man then lost sight of both, only to see Stockwell later walking by himself on the trail.
Interviewed by detectives, Stockwell denied the allegation, “but did give statements that were conflicting with the victim’s statements,” the police report states. He was arrested on a count of lewd or lascivious molestation of a victim older than 12 but younger than 18, and booked at the Flagler County jail.
Stockwell’s arrest is the third involving sexual acts at Graham Swamp since October, but the first involving an allegation of misconduct involving a minor. In October, two men were arrested after exposing themselves to undercover cops, and masturbating—what Florida law terms “unnatural and lascivious acts.”
In that incident, Arthur Bellany, a 59-year-old resident of Roundmill Lane in Palm Coast, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor earlier this month and paid a fine and court costs of $423. Gary Thompson, 43, of West Place in Palm Coast, was arrested the same day, a couple of hours later, at Graham Swamp, on similar charges. He pleaded guilty to both counts (indecent exposure and unnatural and lascivious act) and was sentenced to six months’ probation.
No written complaints of deviant behavior on the preservation trails have been received by the Sheriff’s Office, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office wrote in a release.