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Officer accused of sex with teen

A longtime Tampa police officer was arrested Tuesday night after he admitted to engaging in sexual activity with a teenage girl from Pasco County between September and December of 2002.

Paul F. Federico, 48, was charged with one count of unlawful sexual activity with a minor.

The 21-year Tampa police veteran remained in the Pasco County jail late Wednesday afternoon pending $10,000 bail, jail officials said.

According to Tampa police, the arrest was the culmination of an investigation they initiated with help from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

The family of the 17-year-old victim, 16 at the time of the alleged encounters, complained to authorities about Federico's conduct, according to Tampa police.

Pasco sheriff's reports state the victim told authorities she had intercourse with Federico three to five times in fall 2002.

When the detective asked Federico, who lives in Land O'Lakes, about the allegation, Federico acknowledged fondling the girl twice, the sheriff's report said. Federico "also admitted to knowing the victim's age, and advised that he knew what he did was wrong," the report stated.

Federico garnered media attention in April 2002 when he and his partner survived a helicopter crash in Tampa Bay near MacDill Air Force Base.

Federico, acting as a spotter for the pilot, suffered two broken ribs.

Tampa police spokesman Capt. Bob Guidara said Chief Steve Hogue reviewed Federico's case Wednesday and will determine his future with the agency after a predisciplinary hearing to be held in the next couple of days.

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