Buckner Assistant Fire Chief charged with sexual abuse - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Buckner Assistant Fire Chief charged with sexual abuse

The Buckner Assistant Fire Chief is out of a job and behind bars.

Police arrested 35-year-old Joseph Melvin on the evening of July 21 at his home on Newton Street.

He's being charged with Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse of a young girl under 13 years of age.

The alleged abuse is reported to have taken place in Melvin's home on the evening of July 20.  That's when one of Melvin's daughter's friends spent the night in the home. The next day she told police that Melvin had touched her.

Melvin was promoted to assistant chief for the Village of Buckner Fire Department this past year.

"He's been an outstanding fireman and great civil servant," said Mayor John Coder.  "He's done anything and everything the fire department asked of him, this all comes as a shock to us all."

The mayor says since his arrest Melvin's duties at the fire department have been suspended.

"He's been suspended until the outcome of this. And if he's found guilty, then he's no longer a fireman in the Village of Buckner," said Mayor Coder.

Even Melvin's neighbors who have known him for years are having a hard time understanding how he could be involved in the alleged sexual abuse of a child.

"We've known him since he was a young boy, he and his brother and sister," said Jimmy Todd.

"He doesn't show that type of personality. And for that to happen is completely out of the blue. I'm sure a lot of people feel the same way."

Now what allegedly happened on the evening of July 20 in Melvin's home on Newton Street will be decided by a court of law.

He remains behind bars in the Franklin County Jail, his bond is set at $50,000.

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