Teen at center of Todd Fort case speaks out in his defense - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Teen at center of Todd Fort case speaks out in his defense

by Heartland News

SALINE COUNTY, IL (KFVS) -  Wednesday the teen in a high profile sexual assault case shared her side of the story.

Former Saline County chief deputy Todd Fort is accused of having sex with a girl, referred to in court documents as BJC.  On Wednesday BJC identified herself as Bobbi Jo Carrigan. 

Carrigan says she is tired of others speaking for her, she wanted to tell her side of the story and she spoke to Julia Bruck.

Do you see yourself as a victim? Julia asked.

"Absolutely not, I am so far from the victim. I'm hurt to think that my parents would think I'm a victim of something I did and something I wanted," Carrigan said.

In a very candid interview, Carrigan says she wants to be in relationship with Todd Fort.   Fort is 43, Carrigan is 17.  

Last fall Carrigan says she started work at the Saline County Sheriff's Office where Fort was chief deputy and her boss.  Carrigan says that's when they got to know each other.  By spring, Carrigan says they were in a relationship.

Carrigan says they had sex at Fort's home, usually on lunch breaks.   Investigators searched it shortly after Fort's arrest.

"We would do anything to not get caught. I would put my car in a different location and he would come and get me. Then we would go to his house. Then he would bring me back," Carrigan said.

But that changed July 19.

"That day we'd seen my dad, so we'd kept going.  And I guess my dad had seen my glare in the window so he kept chasing." said Carrigan.

Carrigan says Fort dropped her off and she waited for a ride back to her car.  Hours later, investigators say Fort turned himself in.

Since Fort's arrest, Carrigan says it's been difficult to see him in handcuffs. She adds Fort doesn't deserve the charges he faces.  

"I wasn't forced and he's a great man and we are very much in love and I just know that in my heart." Carrigan said.

But Carrigan's mother, Karla Carrigan, sees things differently and would like more charges brought against Fort.

"He has took and twisted that baby so much and for so long, since last year and now she doesn't say anything that's not dictated by him," Karla Carrigan said.

"Did you actually think you'd keep this a secret?" Julia asked.

"I knew it would come out.  I didn't know it would come out like this.  And it has come out like this and I have to fight for what I want and what I believe in," Carrigan said.  

What do you believe in? Julia asked.

"I believe we'll be together, I believe that we still love each other and care for each other as much as we did from day one," Carrigan said.

"Now that this has happened, now that Todd Fort has come into our daughter's life, our 16/17 year old daughters' life and tore her life apart, it's affected the whole family," Karla Carrigan said.

Bobbi Carrigan says she and Fort had plans to get married someday.

Carrigan even addressed rumors that are floating around she is pregnant. She says that's not the case.  

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