JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Duval County criminal defense attorney faces a misdemeanor charge of battery after allegedly touching an inmate in a sexual manner while in jail.
On Sept. 16, 2016, Anthony W. Blackburn, 45, was arrested at his home by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office on one misdemeanor account of simple battery per Florida Statue F.S.S. 784.03 (1)(A).
According to police records, Blackburn is believed to have behaved in an inappropriate sexual manner by showing pornographic images to two of his clients and inappropriately touching at least one on September 3, 2016 at the John E. Goode Pre-Trial Detention Facility in Downtown Jacksonville.
Inmate Kristina A. Dillman told Detective E. Cayenne of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office that the defendant had spent approximately 16 minutes with her in a closed interview room with the lights off on Sept. 3. Dillman also told authorities that the defendant touched and spoke to her in ways that were of an unwanted sexual nature.
In a phone conversation recorded on Sept. 4, inmate Dillman was heard telling a friend about her experience with the defendant and his inappropriate behavior the day before.
On Sept. 14, 2016 two inmates of interest were interviewed by authorities in regards to the Sept. 3 meeting at the Duval County Jail.
Inmate Jesmyr Mulero Garces confirmed during the interview that the defendant had spent time with Dillman in a room with the lights off on Sept. 3. She also confirmed that the defendant had given her a tablet device which displayed pornographic images. Garces later admitted that she had had inappropriate sexual contact with the defendant while in jail at an undisclosed time.
The 45-year-old Jacksonville attorney may be best remembered for representing high-profile client Lonna Barton earlier this year. Barton, under Blackburn’s counsel, was convicted on several drug-related charges in Baker County and sentenced to seven years in prison.
Blackburn was released from Duval County Jail after initial booking on a $153 bond and under the condition that he has no contact with the victim.
First Coast News reached out to Blackburn for a comment but could not be reached.