Broward Sheriff's Office Special Victims Unit detectives arrested a Coconut Creek police officer Thursday on one count of custodial sexual battery and two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation.
The officer, 26-year-old Daniel Rush, was taken into custody at the Coconut Creek Police Department.
"It has been an extremely difficult day for all our personnel," Coconut Creek Police Chief Albert Arenal said.
BSO said the accusations first came to light on April 10 when one of the victims handed another parishioner a note while attending worship services at a church in Pompano Beach. The note included claims of sexual misconduct.
"The victim threw the note in the garbage, the parishioner, who we are so grateful for his due diligence and attention to detail, retrieved the note from the garbage," said BSO Sheriff Scott Israel.
The next day, the parishioner went to the BSO Pompano Beach district office to report the incident and turned the victim's note over to a deputy. The case was assigned to the Special Victims Unit for further investigation.
Detectives spoke with the victim and learned the allegations occurred in Coconut Creek. Coconut Creek PD was contacted and requested that BSO continue the investigation.
During an independent interview of the victim, detectives learned the sexual offenses occurred last year. A second victim was later identified. The second victim was interviewed Wednesday and told investigators Rush fondled him.
Rush admitted to knowing the boys but denied the allegations. BSO said the victims were 13 when the alleged incidents happened, which reportedly occurred inside Rush's personal vehicle.
"He was chaperoning the children at the time of the alleged sexual incidents," Sheriff Israel said.
Rush is the co-founder of a mentoring organization, Men of Virtue & Ethics. Due to the group's association with other churches, detectives are concerned there may be more victims.
"The fact that he was mentoring young children, has a website, which we have seen, is a concern," Chief Arenal said.
Chief Arenal said the allegations are reprehensible and his department has now spent several days looking into his record. "Everything from his psychological to his hiring process, no clue whatsoever. No indication of any propensity for this type of activity," he said.
If you have information about additional victims or believe your child may be a victim, you are urged to call the BSO Special Victims Unit at (954) 321-4240 or Broward Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS.