Florida Uber Driver Accused of Molesting Child Blames Anime

Florida Uber driver accused of molesting 3-year-old blamed anime for his actions, police say

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According to a newly obtained police report, Uber driver Justin Hughes, 31, attacked a 3-year-old girl in a utility closet Jan. 30 at Victory Chapel Christian Church in Jacksonville. According to the report, he allegedly blamed Japanese graphic novels and anime for his behavior. 

Hughes was arrested Jan. 31, and ActionNewsJax first reported the charges on Feb. 1.

A mother and church member who asked not be identified spoke exclusively to ActionNewsJax reporter Ryan Nelson. 

“You instantly kind of freak out,” she said. “But then, you’re also like, there’s no way that that can be happening. There’s no way that that would happen, especially of all places in a church.”

According to the redacted police report ActionNewsJax first obtained earlier this month, Hughes “inappropriately touched a 3-year-old female victim." He was charged with lewd and lascivious molestation – by an offender 18 or older against a victim less than 12 years old.

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On Saturday, an ActionNewsJax source close to the family sent us a copy of the unredacted arrest report. 

It said an assistant pastor "reviewed the surveillance video and saw Justin Hughes (suspect) coax the victim into a utility closet at 21:06 and the victim and suspect exited the closet” nearly 15 minutes later. 

Investigators write Hughes appeared “distraught and in a rush to be in handcuffs.”

The report states Hughes allegedly asked an officer, “Do you have children? If you do, keep them away from anime and manga (Japanese graphic novel). They’re perverted and sick, I am an idiot.”

The report goes on to say detectives "learned from the suspect he inappropriately touched the victim and did not go into detail upon further questioning.”

Hughes’ next court date is set for Thursday.

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