Arrest of Fernandina Beach police officer

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A new report shows new details on the arrest of Fernandina Beach police officer John Lee Finley, arrested on charges of sexual battery after drugging woman’s drink.

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. — A warrant from the Nassau County Sheriff’s Department details what lead up to the arrest of a Fernandina Beach Police Department officer Friday.

John Finley Jr., 33, was arrested in Nassau County and was being held in the Duval County jail Monday afternoon on $597,508 bond.

Finley’s charges included sexual battery and possession of drugs. Nassau County deputies said a woman accused the officer of “date rape,” the arrest warrant states. 

The warrant details the victim’s testimony to police:

The victim said the incident occurred at Finley’s apartment, where the two met up after getting to know each other after exchanging text messages.

After arriving at Finley’s apartment, the victim told police the officer gave her a drink and she began to feel “paralyzed” and “really sleepy,” the warrant states. 

The woman said she believed that she had been drugged. Finley then took her clothes off and began performing sexual acts on her, though she continuously told him “no,” the warrant states.

She also reported that Finley mocked her, repeating “no?” 

Throughout the alleged assault, Finley told her: “I shouldn’t be doing this,” the warrant states. 

After showering, Finley returned and assaulted the victim again, she said. She continued to tell him “stop,” but he did not. She also saw a flash from a camera and believed that Finely had taken a picture of her, she said. 

She did not feel as if she was awake enough to try and leave the apartment, she said. 

The report details several more accusations of non-consensual sex before the victim says she felt she was physically able to leave. When Finely fell asleep, she said, she was finally able to leave.

She told a coworker about what had happened and the coworker recommended she take a drug test, the victim said. The “12Panel” drug test she took came back positive for amphetamines. To be sure the results were accurate, she took a second test, which also came back positive. 

The report says it was at this point that Nassau County Sheriff’s Office was notified.

The officer who interviewed Finley said that when officers asked to see the photos, he “began scrolling through his photo album, but appeared to be ‘endlessly scrolling up and down,” until officers demanded to see his phone and he showed them a photo of the victim sleeping. 

The report says Finley told officers that “no sexual intercourse occurred.” Officers asked Finley if he drugged the victim and told him about the positive drug test, the report says, but Finley’s responses are redacted in the report. 

When Finley’s apartment was searched, a police K9 gave a positive alert to narcotics in his bed room, the report said, leading police to collect several potential pieces of evidence from his bedroom and the rest of his apartment.

The residue on the inside of a cup and a black container with a yellow wax-like substance both tested positive for amphetamines, the report said. When officers explained the test results, Finley said he was “the only one who drank out of the cups.” 

Officers asked Finley how he obtained the drugs and how he took them. His responses are redacted in warrant.

The arrest warrant for Finley says the report proves there is probable cause to arrest Finely for “sexual batteries related to the digital penetration of and/or sex performed upon the victim’s [redacted]. In addition, John Finley’s unwanted touching of the victim’s [redacted] constitutes battery. John Finley committed the act after he administered the victim a narcotic that mentally or physically incapacitated the victim. John Finely was also in possession of a controlled substance,” the warrant states. 



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