Marine Corps recruiter accused of having sex with underage Bartow student, police say

Polk County Jail

AUBURNDALE, Fla. (WFLA) -A United States Marine Corps recruiter is in big trouble after police say he had sex with an underage student he was trying to recruit.

The Winter Haven Police Department charged Sgt. Joshua T. Mann, 26, with two counts of sexual activity with a 16/17-year-old after they learned of two sexual encounters involving Mann and a 17-year-old female student at Bartow High School. Mann works out of the recruitment office in Winter Haven, police said.

School employees told police another student overheard the minor telling a friend about a sexual encounter with Mann. That student reported the incident to a teacher who notified a school resource officer.

The victim told police she met the recruiter in February while he was stationed at her school. The victim was not eligible for recruitment at that time, but the two kept in touch over the phone, since the student would be eligible in the coming school year. Mann helped her begin the enrollment process for the ASVAB exam, and the victim also took a physical fitness test at the Marine Corps Recruiting Station in Winter Haven, police said. She told detectives nothing inappropriate happened at this time.

Then, in June 2017, Mann and the minor met on two separate occasions and had two separate sexual encounters, the victim said.

Detectives visited the recruiting station Friday to question Mann. After the interview, he was taken into custody and transported to the Polk County Jail.

He’s due in court for a bond hearing on Saturday at 8 a.m.

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