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News and Investigations

News & Investigations

News Releases and Public Information

Welcome to the Polk County Sheriff's Office News Room, where the Public Information Officers (PIO's) post all of the information that they release to the news media. PIO's act as liaisons between news media organizations and the Sheriff's Office. The PIO's routinely release timely and accurate information and Crime Stoppers bulletins, and respond to routine and "breaking news" media inquiries. News releases and Crime Stoppers information can be found on this page.

PCSO's full-time Public Information Officers are Brian Bruchey, Carrie Horstman, and Alicia Manautou. The Public Information Officers can be reached by sending an e-mail collectively at

The recent news releases sent out by the PIOs can be found here, and archived releases (older than 2017) can be found here.

Dec 7, 2021

Polk County detectives arrest registered sexual offender on numerous charges for his illegal contact with two teen girls

Media Contact: Brian Bruchey, PIO

Detectives from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit (SVU) arrested a Bartow man Monday, December 6, 2021, after an investigation showed he had inappropriate contact with two teen girls, to include sending nude photos of himself to one, and video-recording another through a bedroom window.

46-year old Robert Scott of Bartow was charged with Video Voyeurism of a Child Under 16 (F2), Lewd/Lascivious Conduct (F2), Use of Communication Device to Commit Felony (F3), Transmit Material Harmful to a Minor (3-counts, F3), and Sex Offender Failure to Register (3-counts, F3).

Scott has been classified as a Sexual Offender by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement due to a 2003 Polk County conviction for Lewd or Lascivious Battery on a Victim 12-15 Years Old. 

The investigation began Monday when it was reported to the PCSO that Scott had sent via cell phone two sexually explicit photos of himself to a female victim (16 or under), who he has known since September 2021. 

It was then learned that Scott had also video-recorded another female victim (16 or under) through her bedroom window while she was undressing last week. Scott had also shown this victim pornographic material on his cell phone, and verbally told her that he wanted to engage in sexual activity with her. 

During an interview with detectives, Scott admitted to his crimes, and acknowledged that he knew how old both victims are. 

Detectives also learned that Scott had failed to fully comply with the registering requirements of his Sexual Offender Obligations by not reporting: a vehicle belonging to him, a new phone number, and a new Facebook account. 

“A leopard can’t change its spots…and it’s obvious Robert Scott hasn’t changed his deviant ways. He is the kind of person we don’t want to be near children. Hopefully, he’ll be held accountable and sent to prison where he won’t be able to victimize children. He obviously did not learn anything from his first conviction and placement on the sexual offender registry.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff