A 12-year-old girl is seeking a restraining order against a 60-year-old Los Osos man after she said he approached her multiple times and exhibited behavior that made her uncomfortable and afraid.
The girl filed the restraining order in SLO County Superior Court May 31 against Jeff Harrison Edwards, a business owner and local government activist in Los Osos. As of June 1, a SLO County judge granted a temporary restraining order against Edwards, which will remain in effect until June 21.
According to court documents, Edwards’ troubling behavior began as early as August 2015 at Los Osos Middle School, and at a track where Edwards, his child, and the girl went running two times on weekends.
“[Edwards] told me he likes my hair, he told me that I’m pretty, he touched my legs when he saw that I had mosquito bites and then gave me Benadryl spray and told me to use it (he gave me this on school property),” she wrote in the request.
According to the request, Edwards allegedly offered the girl his cell phone number and asked her to participate in several activities with him, including hiking, biking, and taking swimming lessons, bringing the girl the paperwork for the class. Edwards also asked the girl where she lived, and asked to give her rides to her school.
“I feel very uncomfortable and unsafe when [Edwards] is anywhere near me because of all the ways he has acted with me so far,” the girl wrote. “I am scared now.”
The court document also alleged that Edwards displayed similar behavior at the girl’s school. The girl claimed that Edwards would watch her and stare at her every morning before school.
“I now have to come to school campus a different way. … He still watches and stares at me very closely even after my change of routes,” she wrote.
According to the court records, the girl had already voiced her concerns to authorities. The request for a restraining order stated that the campus’s vice-principal, Karl Blum, had spoken with Edwards. Blum declined to answer questions from New Times about the situation.
The SLO County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that the girl’s parents had contacted the office with concerns about Edwards, and that a deputy had spoken with him.
“The deputy contacted Edwards and explained that the parents of the juvenile were not comfortable with his contacts with their daughter and he needed to stop immediately,” Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Tony Cippola wrote in response to questions from New Times. “Edwards apologized and said he did not mean to cause concern to her family and agreed to not to cause any further problems. That was the extent of our involvement.”
Cipolla said no criminal case was filed.
Edwards gave the following statement when New Times asked him about the allegations: “I always spoke to the student in question with the utmost respect,” Edwards said. “It is unfortunate that casual conversation is being distorted and turned into something unpleasant.”