Bronson man rebuilds life after found not guilty

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By Lou Elliott Jones, Editor

Dennis Russell, 45, has been busy trying to regain pieces of his old life.

Since being found not guilty by a jury on Aug. 28 on charges of lewd and lascivious behavior with a child under the age of 12 and participating in a sex act with a child in custodial care, the road has been difficult for Russell.

The charges were filed after a teen wrote a note to a teacher accusing him of the behavior.

Russell, who spent 53 days in the Levy County Jail, before being bailed out on the charges in December 2007, was well known at the time of his arrest in the fall of 2007.

He was part-time town clerk in Otter Creek where he also served as fire chief. He was a former fire chief in Bronson. He worked with the Bronson schools’ band boosters and was president of the Bronson Youth League at the time of his arrest.

    He also owned a business in Chiefland.

    While he lost the civic positions and sold the business, he also lost access to three children he fathered. And he is living with his father, a result of not being hired while the charges were outstanding.

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