Public Affairs Director Klare Ly, informed Historic City News that jury selection has begun in the felony sexual battery trial of former law enforcement officer, James Howard Scharfschwerdt.
A total of four boys have come forward to accuse Scharfschwerdt of giving them alcohol and then sexually fondling them. In the course of the investigation, detectives learned that Scharfschwerdt was a former police officer in south Florida and had been arrested in 1988 following similar allegations.
Detectives served a search warrant at Scharfschwerdt’s home in St Johns County where they seized several items of evidence for forensic analysis.
Two years after Scharfschwerdt was arrested, in December 2010, he remains in custody in the St Johns County Detention Facility facing four sexual battery charges; his bonds total $2 million dollars.
RJ Larizza, State Attorney of the 7th Judicial Circuit, described the crimes as traumatic; causing long-term emotional harm to the child victims who are becoming adults.
Ly reported that the trial is scheduled to begin December 10 – 11th before Circuit Judge Terry LaRue.