Former local business owner arrested

OKEECHOBEE — A former resident was arrested Tuesday by a local detective and will be returned to Okeechobee County where he is accused of sexually molesting a 6-year-old girl.

Detective Bill Saum, of the Okeechobee City Police Department (OCPD), said he traveled to St. Johns County on Feb. 28 where he arrested Emilio Anselmo Madrigal on one felony count of sexual battery – victim under the age of 12.

Emilio Anselmo Madrigal

Madrigal is currently being held without bond in the St. Johns County Jail and will remain there until he is returned to Okeechobee County.

According to Detective Saum the alleged molestation occurred in Okeechobee in late December of 2016. Madrigal is currently living in Hastings, which is located 18 miles northeast of St. Augustine.

The OCPD investigator said he traveled to St. Johns County where he met up with Detective Andrew Huskey, from the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, and the two of them went to Hastings to interview Madrigal.

Once the hour-long interview was completed, Detective Saum arrested the former owner of Madrigal Harvesting on an Okeechobee County warrant signed by Circuit Court Judge Dan Vaughn. Madrigal is currently a supervisor of field personnel, noted the OCPD detective.

Apparently the victim told her parents what happened, and they then contacted the OCPD.

“It’s important for parents to have a conversation with their children that no one is to touch their private areas other than trained medical professionals,” said Detective Saum. “That’s what happened in this case. The parents had had that conversation with their child.”

The victim in this case was not physically injured, noted the detective.

Detective Saum did not know when Madrigal would be returned to Okeechobee County.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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