Former Florida Fire Chief Guilty Of Sex With 12-Year-Old Girl

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) -- A former volunteer fire chief Friday was convicted of having sex with a 12-year-old girl.

A Circuit Court jury found Timothy McGarry, 40, guilty on three counts of lewd and lascivious battery against a minor.

He could face up to 45 years in state prison -- 15 years on each count. No sentencing date was immediately set, the News Herald of Panama City reported.

McGarry was chief of the Thomas Drive Volunteer Fire Department at Panama City Beach when he had sex with the girl, now 14, two years ago. Consent is not a defense if the victim is a minor.

The girl testified Thursday that she long had a crush him and the relationship turned sexual after McGarry and his wife divorced. She said he told her he loved her and promised to marry her when she was 18.

McGarry took the witness stand Friday to deny the charges. He said it was the girl who had lied.

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Information from: The News Herald

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