Gov. Charlie Crist issued an executive order Friday suspending John Julian Mullis from his position as mayor of the small Polk County municipality of Mulberry. The 33-year-old was elected to the position in April of last year after serving on the City Commission since 2001 and was released from jail Saturday on $5,000 bail following his arrest on one count of unlawful sex with a minor.
According to the Polk sheriff’s office, the investigation began Aug. 28 when detectives received a tip that Mullis had sexual contact with the teen in June, an arrest report states.
Mullis told investigators he met the teen online in April on the website Adam 4 Adam, the report states. The teen’s online profile listed his age as 19.
About a month after meeting online, investigators said, Mullis and the teen met at a bar called Pulse and then went to the mayor’s house, where they had sex.
The teen told investigators Mullis never asked his age but said the mayor believed he was 21.
According to Florida law, one can be charged with unlawful sex with a minor even if they do not know their age. Mullis faces a maximum of 15 years in prison for the second-degree felony.
Crist’s executive order: