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Carmine Marceno, Deanna Williams

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Lee Co. Sheriff asked a woman to abort her child. After stillbirth, she still wants accountability

“I am publicly connected to him and that’s an embarrassment to me.”

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno may wish he never met Deanna Williams. She clearly would prefer the same.

Two months into a short-lived relationship, Williams said she got pregnant by Marceno. Then he demanded she get an abortion.

She didn’t, and the dispute quickly turned her life upside down.

“He blamed me for getting pregnant and said it was all my fault,” Williams said.

For months, Marceno demanded through a court case that she prove the paternity of the child. She said she ultimately delivered the baby stillborn.

In the meantime, financial issues forced her to leave her home of 11 years, as both her father and uncle died.

Combine that with the loss of her pregnancy, and Williams feels shattered: “Those things shake you.”

Marceno’s fortunes are far better: He was appointed to be Sheriff last year when his boss Mike Scott retired early. He’s now running for election to a full term, and has out-raised his only opponent roughly 7-to-1.

Marceno did not respond to calls made over the last month about Williams and her characterization of the relationship.

But a growing number of political insiders in Lee County quietly question if Marceno adequately addressed his personal issues. Some wonder if any explanation will suffice.

Connecting At The Office

At this point, Williams feels frustrated she ever became romantically involved with the soon-to-be Lee County Sheriff. But she’s also angry Marceno ever approached her in the first place.

Williams had been involved in a lengthy civil suit alleging a sexual assault by New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana. The matter was ultimately settled out of court, but Williams has been involved in legal struggles with various attorneys ever since.

She went to the Sheriff’s Office to file a report on an attorney she accused of grand theft for wrongly taking $200,000.

Williams met Marceno in person while asking the Economic Crimes unit to investigate a dispute.

Critics of Williams say that case itself, stemming from an accusation against a professional athlete, shows her character.

But Williams has never alleged anything nonconsensual occurred in her relationship with Marceno. She does feel it was inappropriate for Marceno to approach a victim of a crime.

Staff inside the Sheriff’s Office have confirmed that the relationship apparently began while she wanted an attorney investigated.

“Marceno told me he was on a break with a girlfriend,” said Terri Valentine Taylor, until recently an executive assistant to the Sheriff.

“Then he met this girl, met her in the office. She was unhappy with the detective and the Sheriff met her in the hall.”

That lines up closely with Williams’ account. She had been frustrated an Economic Crimes investigator showed a reluctance in looking at accusations an attorney swindled Williams of money.

“I yelled at him,” Williams recalled, but she also recalled a higher command officer, who she later realized was Marceno, intervening.

A couple days later, Marceno reached out to her on Facebook, but not about the case. He started asking about her line of work and personal life.

Williams didn’t immediately make the connection to the officer she’d met at the Sheriff’s Office. She told him she was involved in real estate. Marceno said so was he, part-time, but he also worked in law enforcement.

“I said, I hope not in the Economic Crimes unit,” she recalls.

He responded by sharing a News-Press story about his role as Undersheriff headlined “Carmine Marceno emerges as face of the Lee County Sheriff Office.”

Conversations continued, and eventually moved from the computer to the phone.

Williams said it felt an odd connection. The sheriff is shorter than her and she normally dates taller men.

“I didn’t find him attractive,” she said. “But I was thankful if he was going to helpful.” And Marceno promised to get to the bottom of things with her report.

Then Marceno became flirty, she said. Eventually she started to trust him personally. Soon, the two became entangled romantically. And then, in a short time, Williams became pregnant.

Demands

That’s when things things took a turn for the worse. The relationship was still fairly new, only about two months in, when Williams learned she was pregnant.

She was dealing with her father’s health problems at the time when she found out, and ended up texting Marceno about the matter from out of state.

A string of text messages, whose authenticity was later verified in a Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) investigation, showed the tense interaction.

“I’m dealing with some unexpected difficult stuff. We need to talk soon,” she wrote.

The two eventually spoke, and the texts take up afterward.

“You can be amazingly oblivious,” Williams wrote.

“I am in the battle of my life,” Marceno responded.

The conversation happened while Marceno was under consideration for an appointment to Sheriff following the retirement of Sheriff Mike Scott.

“I have been beyond slammed to the point of not feeling well and trying to sleep a little before the next pounding. I have waited my entire life for this opportunity. I am hurt that you say that.”

But as the subject turned to the pregnancy, it was clearly Marceno had an end in mind Williams would not consider.

“That was a really scary conversation,” she wrote. “I understand that you’re in shock. I’m in a world of hurt. You can’t even imagine. I’m praying. Please don’t accuse me of being selfish. I’ve been considerate of you far more than most women would have.”

They discuss blood types, medical histories, Williams’ adult child from another relationship. Then the topic turns to outcomes.

“I told you how I felt and I absolutely do not want a child at the point in my life and career,” Marceno wrote. “This is completely unfair to everyone.”

He demands at one point Williams stop texting him on a work phone.

“I’m doing my best to communicate discretely,” Willaims responds. “You’re being cold and harsh. I’ve been very considerate of your feelings.”

At various point, he pushed the abortion option harder.

Many of the texts were eventually included in an FDLE investigation:

“I BEG you to please not have this child,” he wrote. “Beg is an understatement. A child deserves two parents.”

“Especially not at this stage in my life.”

“Please do not ruin my life… I beg you please.”

“It’s not right for us to have a child.”

“I didn’t want one with my wife years ago and certainly not at this time in my life.”

“The best option is not to have it.”

“I’m not trying to talk you into having an abortion but trying to say why I believe not having the child is best.”

Local Backlash?

Williams spoke to the FDLE about the matter and said she felt Marceno’s statements had been physically threatening. The FDLE found no evidence of that. Investigators said Marceno never committed any crime.

Of course, abortion is a legal course of action for ending a pregnancy.

But many in Lee County were startled by the revealed communications, believing Marceno, in fact never urged an abortion. The text messages undercut that belief.

A number of political activists and elected officials said privately the communications proved startling.

Even many who have been ardently pro-life say the biggest issue wasn’t about whether Marceno believed in abortion. The Republican Party is a big tent, and even in conservative Lee County, many local officials are pro-choice.

But this went further, neither respecting Williams right to choose, nor defending the life of Marceno’s own unborn child.

“He’s not pro-choice. He’s pro-abortion,” said Chris Crowley, Lee County Republican Party state committeeman and one of a few political leaders who would go on record to critique the sheriff.

Aftermath

Ultimately, the relationship between Williams and Marceno drew to a rapid close. Williams eventually filed a paternity suit against Marceno seeking child support and sole custody.

Marceno fought the suit. Many around the sheriff have since insinuated the baby was not his, if there was a pregnancy at all.

Williams provided Florida Politics with medical records dating to when she first confirmed the pregnancy.

Since the end of the pregnancy, Williams’ case remains open, but she doubts there is any way to force Marceno to provide DNA and to settle paternity questions now. There’s a motion to dismiss filed in the case.

Many have questioned her credibility. She finds that laughable.

But she no longer lives in Florida and said the entire dispute has only exacerbated her legal fights with her old attorneys.

“When I went to Sheriff’s Office, I expected justice,” she said. “What I did not expect was Sheriff Marceno to coerce me into a sexual relationship.”

She sees reasons for the public to lose its trust in the Sheriff, who faces his first election next year.

“I don’t want to engage with Carmine,” she said. “I am publicly connected to him and that’s an embarrassment to me. I do think he should be held accountable.”

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

46 Comments

46 Comments

  1. John Clark

    July 8, 2019 at 8:53 am

    The sheriff is shorter than “her”?

    • Jason

      July 8, 2019 at 1:47 pm

      She’s a towering 5 foot 5 in tall at best.

      She took care of my kids in the children’s nursery and did missions for years at my church. She’s still working in women’s ministry speaking to sexual assault victims in and outside the country as far as I know.

  2. Mike M

    July 8, 2019 at 11:24 am

    When is it okay for a law enforcement officer to pursue a crime victim for a sexual relationship?

    • Lillian

      July 8, 2019 at 12:04 pm

      Gold digger 101.

      • Tim Brown

        July 8, 2019 at 12:12 pm

        Probably should know what you’re talking about before commenting.

  3. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    There are several corrections that need to be made in the story. I don’t have time to make them all, but all of the articles I’ve produced on Deanna’s story, including documentation about the fraudulent sheriff that no one in Florida wants to touch with a ten-foot pole can be found here.

    https://thewashingtonstandard.com/florida-buying-selling-for-profit-the-right-to-sue-a-rape-victim-the-deanna-williams-story/

  4. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    Rape Victim Claims Gloria Allred Failed To Honor Agreement – Now She Faces Threats Of Arrest & Judgments Of Over $1 Million https://thewashingtonstandard.com/rape-victim-claims-gloria-allred-failed-to-honor-agreement-now-she-faces-threats-of-arrest-judgments-of-over-1-million/

  5. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    Why Did The Florida Judicial System Render A Final Judgment Against A Rape Victim Without Giving Her Time To Defend Herself? https://thewashingtonstandard.com/why-did-the-florida-judicial-system-render-a-final-judgment-against-a-rape-victim-without-giving-her-time-to-defend-herself/

  6. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    What Do Gloria Allred & A Florida Judge Busted In A Prostitution Sting Have In Common? https://thewashingtonstandard.com/what-do-gloria-allred-a-florida-judge-busted-in-a-prostitution-sting-have-in-common/

  7. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    Ousted Oklahoma Judge Turned Florida Attorney Michael Chionopoulos Involved In Possible Malpractice In Depriving Rape Victim Of Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars https://thewashingtonstandard.com/ousted-oklahoma-judge-turned-florida-attorney-michael-chionopoulos-involved-in-possible-malpractice-in-depriving-rape-victim-of-hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars/

  8. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    1 Person Now Dead In Case Against Rape Victim – When Will Governor DeSantis, the Attorney General & Florida Bar Intervene? https://thewashingtonstandard.com/1-person-now-dead-in-case-against-rape-victim-when-will-governor-desantis-the-attorney-general-florida-bar-intervene/

  9. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    Did Florida Governor & Sean Hannity Drop Support Of Florida Sheriff Carmine Marceno Because He Abused His Power To Pursue Women For Sex & Wanted His Baby Murdered? https://thewashingtonstandard.com/did-florida-governor-sean-hannity-drop-support-of-florida-sheriff-carmine-marceno-because-he-abused-his-power-to-pursue-women-for-sex-wanted-his-baby-murdered/

  10. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    Florida State-Controlled Media Provides Cover For FDLE Report On Lee County Sheriff Regarding Threats In Paternity Suit – Here’s What They Didn’t Report https://thewashingtonstandard.com/florida-state-controlled-media-provides-cover-for-fdle-report-on-lee-county-sheriff-regarding-threats-in-paternity-suit-heres-what-they-didnt-report/

  11. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    Exclusive: Why Is Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno Perpetrating This Fraud On The People? https://thewashingtonstandard.com/exclusive-why-is-lee-county-sheriff-carmine-marceno-perpetrating-this-fraud-on-the-people/

  12. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    Exclusive: The Fraud In Lee County Continues – Documents Indicate Sheriff Never Met The Requirements To Be A Police Officer https://thewashingtonstandard.com/exclusive-the-fraud-in-lee-county-continues-documents-indicate-sheriff-never-met-the-requirements-to-be-a-police-officer/

  13. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    Florida “Republicans” Are Apparently OK Supporting Pro-Baby Murder & Corrupt Sheriff https://thewashingtonstandard.com/florida-republicans-are-apparently-ok-supporting-pro-baby-murder-corrupt-sheriff/

  14. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno Decorates Himself In Same Fashion As Dictators Of The Past https://thewashingtonstandard.com/lee-county-sheriff-carmine-marceno-decorates-himself-in-same-fashion-as-dictators-of-the-past/

  15. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    The Next Tier In Lee County, Florida Corruption: State Attorney Amira Fox https://thewashingtonstandard.com/the-next-tier-in-lee-county-florida-corruption-state-attorney-amira-fox/

  16. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    Is The State Of Florida Going To Quietly Stand By As This Woman’s Life Hangs In The Balance As They Did With Terri Schiavo? https://thewashingtonstandard.com/is-the-state-of-florida-going-to-quietly-stand-by-as-this-womans-life-hangs-in-the-balance-as-they-did-with-terri-schiavo/

  17. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    Florida Sheriffs Association Silent On Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno’s Fraud https://thewashingtonstandard.com/florida-sheriffs-association-silent-on-lee-county-sheriff-carmine-marcenos-fraud/

  18. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    The Documents SW Florida Media Are Afraid To Show Lee County Citizens About Sheriff Carmine Marceno https://thewashingtonstandard.com/the-documents-sw-florida-media-are-afraid-to-show-lee-county-citizens-about-sheriff-carmine-marceno/

  19. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    Is “Women’s Rights” Attorney Gloria Allred Responsible For Leaving This Woman To Face Over A $1 Million Judgment?
    https://thewashingtonstandard.com/is-womens-rights-attorney-gloria-allred-responsible-for-leaving-this-woman-to-face-over-a-1-million-judgment-2/

  20. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    A Florida Bar Investigator, The State Attorney & A Sheriff – The Corruption Runs Deep https://thewashingtonstandard.com/a-florida-bar-investigator-the-state-attorney-a-sheriff-the-corruption-runs-deep/

  21. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    Joe Biden Dropped Out Of The ’88 Presidential Election For Embellishing His Academic Record – Why Doesn’t Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno Drop Out Of His Campaign? https://thewashingtonstandard.com/joe-biden-dropped-out-of-the-88-presidential-election-for-embellishing-his-academic-record-why-doesnt-lee-county-sheriff-carmine-marceno-drop-out-of-his-campaign/

  22. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    What Is With Florida Republicans Supporting Frauds, Police Impersonators & Those Tied To Islamic Terrorism? https://thewashingtonstandard.com/what-is-with-florida-republicans-supporting-frauds-police-impersonators-those-tied-to-islamic-terrorism/

  23. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    Gloria Allred Leaves Florida Woman Hanging Out To Dry While Greedy, Money Hungry Attorneys & Enabling, Corrupt Judges Pursue Her For Over $1 Million (Video) https://thewashingtonstandard.com/gloria-allred-leaves-florida-woman-hanging-out-to-dry-while-greedy-money-hungry-attorneys-enabling-corrupt-judges-pursue-her-for-over-1-million-video/

  24. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    Florida Bar Drops The Ball On Attorney Grand Theft Of $200,000… Again! https://thewashingtonstandard.com/florida-bar-drops-the-ball-on-attorney-grand-theft-of-200000-again/

  25. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    Florida Attorney Scott Mager Seems To Make A 6 Figure Job For Himself Against Rape Victim https://thewashingtonstandard.com/florida-attorney-scott-mager-seems-to-make-a-6-figure-job-for-himself-against-rape-victim/

  26. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    Exclusive Bombshell: Lee County Sheriff’s Office Can’t Produce Certification For Sheriff https://thewashingtonstandard.com/exclusive-bombshell-lee-county-sheriffs-office-cant-produce-certification-for-sheriff/

    • Tabitha

      July 9, 2019 at 10:26 pm

      This story reminds me of the Jersey case about Michael Lasalandra, why does everyone assume the woman is the villain. He let those articles be printed knowing she broke up with “him”. Even his desparate 66 year old 3rd wife Caren Grant had left a comment like she knew what happened in their bedroom. The woman has all his messages on her Facebook showing the truth. He did to his 2nd wife what he’s doing with the 3rd, they buy the house he gets his name on it. It’s public information.

  27. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    Why is Michael Avenatti’s Indictment For Ripping Off A Porn Star National News, But This Story Involving Gloria Allred Faces Blackout? https://thewashingtonstandard.com/why-is-michael-avenattis-indictment-for-ripping-off-a-porn-star-national-news-but-this-story-involving-gloria-allred-faces-blackout-2/

  28. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    Mainstream Media Covers Michael Avenatti “Not Guilty” Plea – Blackout Gloria Allred’s Dumping On Rape Victim https://thewashingtonstandard.com/mainstream-media-covers-michael-avenatti-not-guilty-plea-blackout-gloria-allreds-dumping-on-rape-victim/

  29. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    Florida Department Of Law Enforcement Or Department of Whitewashing & Coverup? https://thewashingtonstandard.com/florida-department-of-law-enforcement-or-department-of-whitewashing-coverup/

  30. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    More Evidence Of Florida Corruption In Case Of Attorney Suing Rape Victim For Profit https://thewashingtonstandard.com/more-evidence-of-florida-corruption-in-case-of-attorney-suing-rape-victim-for-profit/

  31. Tim Brown

    July 8, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    Former Florida State Attorney Refused To Prosecute Rape & Grand Theft From Rape Victim – Sued Local TV Station Over “Hurt Feelings” https://thewashingtonstandard.com/former-florida-state-attorney-refused-to-prosecute-rape-grand-theft-from-rape-victim-sued-local-tv-station-over-hurt-feelings-2/

  32. Trurh

    July 8, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    Gosh, I wonder who this Tim Brown “guy” is, or is connected to? Get a life. The worst thing this sheriff did was show poor judgment in getting involved with this fruit basket lady.

    • Jenna

      July 8, 2019 at 2:37 pm

      So you’re saying the Sheriff should pursue sexual relationships with crime victims who are less “fruity”?

      • Tim Brown

        July 8, 2019 at 9:52 pm

        No, he’s saying he’s a troll:)

    • Tim Brown

      July 8, 2019 at 9:51 pm

      Actually, he broke the law. I reported all that and documented and Fox 4 will be exposing a portion of it this Wednesday. Perhaps you should know the criminals in office a little better. The poor judgment was Deanna’s not Carmine’s. He’s a predator. https://www.facebook.com/janemonrealnews/videos/709195526200181/

    • Debbie

      July 9, 2019 at 3:26 pm

      Very bad judgement for his position but par for the course for lee co police dept much wrong in this dept from top t bottom

  33. Diana Watt

    July 8, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    What I really want to know now is how to the Republican Party of Florida office holders of Southwest Florida respond. Will they cover for him? Will they say that women matter more than the good ole boy network? Will they say they stand for life and don’t want the endorsement of a sheriff who does not? Will they say that abuse of power and dating a victim while you promise to resolve their issue is a breach of LCSO ethics rules?
    Will the establishment of Lee County and the LeeGOP stand with this appointed sheriff or will they stand with their community who deserves so much better than this?

    • Tim Brown

      July 8, 2019 at 9:54 pm

      Oh they’ve already shown they will stand with him. He’s raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. They support him big time because many of them are corrupt themselves. Look at Amira Dijani Fox and her ties to Islamic terrorists, lack of prosecution, including this case concerning Ms. Williams. I could go on and on but you get the point.

  34. jeffery amburgey

    July 9, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    Yes, poor Mrs. William’s. Looks like a shakedown to me. The sheriff, like other men, is attracted to a good looking woman. If not for the documented shakedown of the baseball player this would be more believable, but to try to ruin the livelihood of a man based on this set of circumstances is ridiculous, I dont know the sheriff or Mrs. William’s, but I do know that the ingredients of a shakedown and they seem to be present. Independent of this incident is their any evidence of the sheriff being untruthful, if so, in my opinion it is unlikely that the governor would have appointed him fill the office mid term. Look closer either the sheriff himself or someone close to him has money, and she wants to be paid.

    • Ron Soriano

      July 9, 2019 at 5:10 pm

      Amen to that she played him like a fiddle.. She did the same thing to Johan

    • melissa hill

      July 10, 2019 at 2:45 am

      Amen….15 seconds of Fame and some type of law suit…..she’s gotta pay the bills some kind of way..

  35. Mz Info

    July 11, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    What about the poor child? Say a prayer for that innocent little baby who’s life was too short, who is the real victim to this whole media shit show. I wonder if she was less focused on the stress of media and sheriff and more focused on her unborn baby—that it would have survived.

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