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Former DJJ counselor sent lewd photos to girl, asked her to his apartment, authorities say
John Wilkins III
John Wilkins III

A former Department of Juvenile Justice counselor was accused of sending lewd photos of himself to a girl committed to DJJ and asked to take her back to his apartment, according to arrest warrants.

John Wilkins III, 30, of Gainesville, was charged with enticing a child for indecent purposes and electronically furnishing obscene material to a minor.

Wilkins sent lewd photographs and videos to the girl between March 1 and Sept. 9, the warrants stated.

The warrants said the girl was a “committed youth” to the Department of Juvenile Justice, and Wilkins met her when she was detained at the Gainesville Regional Youth Detention Center.

The other allegation in the warrants was that Wilkins solicited the girl “to take her back to his apartment for the purpose of child molestation or indecent acts.”

The warrants do not list the girl’s age other than she is under the age of 16.

DJJ, which conducted the criminal investigation, said Wilkins, who was hired Nov. 1, 2021, was fired Oct. 13 after an internal investigation, and he was arrested Nov. 22.

DJJ Director of Communications Glenn Allen said Wilkins violated the department’s conduct policy, alleging that Wilkins “used his position of authority with the agency to engage in inappropriate behavior.” Allen clarified that the girl was not in DJJ’s custody at the time of the incident.

Defense attorney Blake Poole said he and his client are going to contest the allegations, asking the community to keep an open mind until all of the evidence is presented.

“Mr. Wilkins is a good man, a loving husband and father,” Poole said. “He denies the allegations as they’re stated, never had any intention or attempt to engage in any sexual relationship with the purported victim.”

Poole said Wilkins bonded out on a $20,000 bail.