CORRECTION: A previous version of this story erroneously said Judge Alan Apte narrowly beat 2020 primary challenger Christy C. Collins, but Collins narrowly beat Apte, 51.3% to 48.7%. The article has been corrected below.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has assigned an outside state attorney to investigate a Central Florida judge accused of lewd molestation.

What You Need To Know

  • Executive order by governor reassigns case from Ninth to Seventh Circuit

  • Lewd molestation case involves Circuit Judge Alan Apte, according to order

  • Order: State Attorney Aramis Ayala has removed herself from the case

Judge Alan Apte serves in the Ninth Circuit, which represents Orange and Osceola counties. He narrowly lost in the August primary to challenger Christy C. Collins.

An executive order issued by the Governor's Office last Wednesday shows Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala told the governor about the accusation. She removed herself from the case.

The DeSantis order says Apte is "accused of lewd molestation" and assigns the top prosecutor from the Seventh Circuit, R.J. Larizza, to investigate the charges.

Requests over the weekend seeking more information on the case from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Orlando Police, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Apte, the Ninth Judicial Circuit, the Seventh Circuit, and the Florida Bar went unanswered.

According to a biography on a re-election website approved by Apte, he was elected as a circuit judge in 2002 and has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1993. He serves as a youth soccer coach, volunteers at Give Kids the World, and serves on the boards of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Central Florida and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida.

Read it: DeSantis executive order