Judge denies former Clearwater fire chief’s motion for a new trial

MELISSA LYTTLE   |   Times
 (April 25, 2012, Clearwater, Fla.) Former Clearwater Fire Chief Jamie Geer is accused of sexually abusing a young girl for nearly a decade, ending when she turned 17 and spoke to police. Geer took the stand in his own defense Thursday. [MELISSA LYTTLE, Times]
MELISSA LYTTLE | Times (April 25, 2012, Clearwater, Fla.) Former Clearwater Fire Chief Jamie Geer is accused of sexually abusing a young girl for nearly a decade, ending when she turned 17 and spoke to police. Geer took the stand in his own defense Thursday. [MELISSA LYTTLE, Times]
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A Pinellas circuit judge denied a bid for a new trial in the case of Jamie Geer, the former Clearwater fire chief serving a life sentence for sexually abusing a girl throughout her childhood.

Geer, now 63, was in court in October seeking the new trial. His defense attorneys showed evidence on several key points they say were not presented during Geer’s 2012 trial.

Among their arguments was a blog post by the victim that the defense said shows she was pressured by her mother to come forward to police.

In his order, Judge Frank Quesada wrote that it was a "strategic decision" for Geer’s trial attorney not to present the blog post as evidence because the victim had written other posts indicating that Geer had sexually assaulted her.

Quesada also pointed to what is likely the strongest piece of evidence in the first trial: a recorded phone call between the victim and Geer. When she spoke about how they had sex, Geer did not deny it.

That call, Quesada wrote, "severely belies any allegation of defendant’s innocence."

Geer had been a fire chief in Tennessee when Clearwater hired him in 2004.

He was arrested in 2010. Two years later, a jury found him guilty of sexual battery, lewd or lascivious battery and unlawful sexual activity with a minor. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Contact Laura C. Morel at [email protected] Follow @lauracmorel.

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