A former Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) deputy was arrested after being charged with forcing someone to have sex with him while he was in uniform.
Public Relations Manager Denise Moloney said that earlier this year the HCSO was told that on two separate occasions and at two different locations then-deputy Zachary Carter, 30, had coerced someone to have sexual relations with him. Investigators were told that Carter, who worked for the HCSO from 2018 to 2022, was wearing his uniform at the time both incidents took place and indicated that the victim would face arrest for failing to comply with his wishes.
An investigation into the allegations was launched, and Carter resigned from the agency as soon as he learned that it was underway.
Working with the State’s Attorney’s Office, to obtain a warrant, the HCSO arrested Carter on Oct. 13 on a single charge of Sexual Battery with No Serious Personal Injury.
He had no previous disciplinary actions in his file, Moloney said.
Later that same day, Carter later turned himself in to the Pasco County Detention Center, where his bond was set at $10,000.
Sheriff Al Nienhuis said that he was both “disappointed and appalled” by Carter’s actions. “I hold my employees to the highest standards of conduct and professionalism and will not tolerate any departure from those standards,” Nienhuis said.
The investigation into the incidents remains ongoing.