A Charlotte County man is being held on a $1.4 million bond after deputies say he molested children under the age of 12.
James Palmucci, 48, faces at least 83 sex crime charges after his arrest in Englewood East. Those charges range from lewd and lascivious molestation on children under 12, with some other victims between the ages of 12 and 16. He also faces charges of battery of a child by throwing certain fluids. The arrest paperwork doesn’t further explain that charge.
“They’ll find that upon further investigation, that group is probably unfortunately going to be bigger,” said Rich Kolko, WINK News Safety & Security Specialist. “He’s looking at potentially spending the rest of his life in jail.”
Palmucci was jailed Monday evening in Charlotte County, and he’ll be arraigned in October.
CCSO worked alongside Fort Myers FBI investigators to arrest Palmucci. In a video shared on Facebook by CCSO, a detective confirmed a complaint submitted by several young girls was sent to investigators, claiming that an Englewood man (Palmucci) had been touching and sexually abusing them. The detective said child porn was also discovered on Palmucci’s phone during the investigation.
“This is an individual, who it is crystal clear, has no regard for young people or the law whatsoever,” said Sheriff Bill Prummell in the video. “My deputies work hard to take people like this off the streets and put them behind bars where they belong. It’s simple. If you prey on our children, we’re going to prey on you. We protect our children here in Charlotte County.”
Deputies arrested Palmucci at the corner intersection with Spinnaker Boulevard and Van Lake Drive. Neighbor Betty Eerniffe says her typically quiet and calm street was not so quiet and calm Monday.
“We just noticed all of the sheriff’s vehicles around there and crime tape around,” Eerniffe said.
Eerniffe and other neighbors are shocked Palmucci was caught in their neighborhood.
“I am very surprised because we have a school so close by, and why would somebody with that background be this close to a school,” Eerniffe said.
“It bothers me that people would do that,” neighbor Carl Hanscom said.
Now, they’re just hoping Palmucci is never allowed to hurt another child.
“Hope he never gets out,” Hanscom said.
WINK News is working to find out how many children are involved in the case, if there may be any other victims, and what tipped off the sheriff’s office. A look at Palmucci’s past run-ins with law enforcement show only traffic citations.