RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — A former Riviera Beach police officer appeared in court Friday morning on allegations that he engaged in illegal sexual activity with an underage teen.
A judge set bond at $10,000 for 28-year-old Marc Joseph and ordered him to have no contact with the alleged victim, her grandmother, or anyone under the age of 18. He also can't have access to any weapons.
Joseph turned himself into authorities on Thursday and is facing charges of unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
Police said a 17-year-old girl and her grandmother came to the Riviera Beach Police Department on Sept. 30, requesting to speak with the Internal Affairs Division.
According to an arrest report, the alleged victim said she met Joseph on Sept. 2 when he responded to her home for a domestic dispute. They exchanged phone numbers and "Officer Joseph had knowledge of her age (17 years of age)," the arrest report stated.
Police said Joseph texted the teen for several days and met with her several times outside her home.
"[Joseph] promised her he would get her a tattoo, belly piercing, nipple piercings and a puppy," according to the arrest report.
The 17-year-old said she engaged in sexual activity with Joseph on Sept. 5 after his shift was over. Days later, on Sept, 9, police said the two had dinner at Red Lobster, then went to a Best Western motel and had sexual intercourse.
"Officer Joseph shared personal details with her including that he was married and had two children," the arrest report stated.
However, the 17-year-old got upset with Joseph when he didn't get her the tattoo, piercings, and puppy, police said.
"The relationship soured as she was upset with Officer Marc D Joseph due to him failing to provide her with the gifts he had previously promised," according to the arrest report.
After the teen and her grandmother went to Riviera Beach police on Sept. 30, an investigation was launched and Joseph was immediately placed on paid leave of absence. Riviera Beach police turned the case over to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.
Joseph was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail around 1 p.m. Thursday. The police department said he has been fired.
Joseph started working for the Riviera Beach Police Department in July 2018.
The Boy Scouts of America released the following statement:
SECOND OFFICER FIRED
WPTV is learning that a second Riviera Beach police officer was terminated this month following reports of having sex with a teen.
According to city officials, Officer Verley Moyton admitted having a one-time consensual relationship with an 18-year-old participant of the Police Officer Explorer Program.
Moyton was terminated on Nov. 4.
Moyton, who was a school resource officer at the time, is not facing criminal charges because the teen was 18, and the sexual contact was outside the work environment, authorities said.
"Nevertheless, it was inappropriate," said Interim Riviera Beach Police Chief Spencer Rozier on Friday. "We did have it reviewed by two outside law enforcement agencies that determined no criminal charge would be filed because she was technically considered an adult."
Chief Rozier said Moyton was fired because he violated the police department's Code of Ethics, along with the rules and regulations of the Police Officer Explorer Program.
"We took it very seriously, and although criminal charges were not filed, we definitely felt that was not the standard," said Chief Rozier.
The Boy Scouts of America released the following statements:
Attributable to Terrence Hamilton, Scout Executive and CEO, Gulf Stream Council, Boy Scouts of America
“The behavior included in these reports is reprehensible and runs counter to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America and Exploring stand. Upon learning of these reports, we took immediate action to remove this individual and prohibit him from any future participation in Exploring and all Scouting programs.
Nothing is more important than the safety and protection of youth in our programs – it is our top priority. The BSA has a multi-layered process of safeguards, all of which act as barriers to abuse, including mandatory youth protection education for all volunteers, criminal background checks, mandatory reporting to law enforcement and a 24/7 Scouts First Helpline to access counseling and help needed to report any inappropriate behavior.
We rely on police departments, which operate and supervise the Exploring program, to uphold these standards when identifying the officers deemed suitable to work with Explorers.”