Accused child molester gets 75 years in prison

In text messages admitted into evidence during sentencing Tuesday in Judge Clyde Wolfe’s courtroom, former Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Detective Nicole Thomas read a message from Jeromy Bailey to a woman about his then-5-year-old daughter participating in sexual acts with them.

Bailey, 41, pleaded no contest in May to lewd and lascivious molestation of a child under 12 years old, with a minimum of 30 years in prison.

Assistant State Attorney Kenneth Janesk said a life sentence is what Bailey “absolutely deserves.”

“Sixty years won’t somehow make him not an offender,” Janesk said.

Text messages between Bailey and a neighbor started an investigation by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office after the woman alerted law enforcement to sexual behavior between Bailey and his daughter.

“So you’re saying you want to be with me with (the victim) watching us?” Thomas read one of the text messages.

In a Putnam County Sheriff’s Office report, the witness told deputies the suspect admitted to masturbating in front of the child.

Specialist James Greenmun with Homeland Security told Wolfe images were recovered from Bailey’s phone depicting sexual acts with the child. Twenty-eight photos were submitted as evidence.

Forensic interviewer Rachel Heselschwerdt said she interviewed the victim, who disclosed sexual abuse.

“She indicated (sexual abuse) was multiple times,” Heselschwerdt said.

Defense attorney Kevin Monahan asked Bailey if he had any medical conditions, and Bailey replied he was bi-polar.

Bailey said he was abused as a child.

Janesk asked Bailey, “You have four of your own children and you put your own daughter through this?”

“Yes, sir,” Bailey replied.

Prior to sentencing Bailey addressed Wolfe to ask for leniency.

“I beg and plead for the court to understand,” Bailey said. “I have no thoughts, no inkling of thoughts of doing something so heinous.”

Wolfe sentenced Bailey to 75 years in prison. After the sentence, Janesk filed a motion, which was approved, declaring Bailey a sexual predator.

During the investigation, Bailey’s four children were removed from the home by the state Department of Children and Families and placed in foster care, the sheriff’s office report said.

Palatka Daily News

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