Two Escambia County deputies have been charged with sexual assault against a minor, and the Escambia County Sheriff's Office is still seeking two more suspects.
Senior Deputy Mark Gene Smith was arrested and charged with felony sexual assault and misdemeanor battery. Deputy Walter Michael Thomas was arrested and charged with felony sexual assault.
Both are being held without bond and have been placed on administrative leave as an investigation is being conducted in conjunction with the State Attorney's Office.
The investigation is ongoing and no further details will be released at this time, the sheriff's office said. The Sheriff's Office declined to make Sheriff David Morgan available for comment Friday. Morgan plans to hold a news conference Monday to address the investigation.
Smith has been with the ECSO since 2005, while Thomas was hired in 2009.
Along with the arrest of the two deputies, investigators are also looking for Douglas Albert Manning, 47, and Leah Giannotti Manning, 40.
According to Okaloosa County officials, the Mannings were employed as paramedics for the county. Both currently have outstanding warrants for sexual battery and child neglect. They were last seen in the area of 2000 Berg Street and are known to drive a 2013 Red Chevrolet Camaro bearing Florida tag number M59 6YZ.
Escambia County Sheriff's Office are looking for Douglas Albert Manning and Leah Giannotti Manning. The Mannings have outstanding warrants for sexual battery and child neglect. (Photo: Special to the News Journal)
It was during the investigation of the Mannings that information came to light that two ESCO deputies were involved in sexual offenses with subjects younger than 18, officials said.
Anyone with information as to the Mannings' whereabouts is asked to call 911, 436-9620 or Crimestoppers at 433-STOP.
Remember when I told you that someone had tried to kidnap my granddaughter and the Sheriff's Office wasn't taking it seriously? This may be the reason.