Friday, April 20, 2018
News Roundup

Sexual battery trial of former Clearwater fire chief delayed

LARGO — A judge picked a new date for the sexual battery trial of former Clearwater fire Chief Jamie Geer after Geer's attorney said he could not be ready by next week.

Geer had been scheduled to go on trial Tuesday on charges that he sexually abused a girl for years. The new trial date is April 24.

Defense attorney David Parry said he needed more time to review documents he recently received from prosecutors, to conduct pretrial interviews and to finalize witnesses that he may call in Geer's defense.

Assistant State Attorney Kelly McKnight objected to the delay. But Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Philip Federico noted the seriousness of the charge and the possibility of a life sentence for Geer, and said, "I don't have much of a choice" but to grant the request.

Geer was fired as chief after he was arrested in December 2010 and accused of having molested a girl for nearly a decade. He has been charged with capital sexual battery, lewd or lascivious battery, and unlawful sexual activity with a minor.

Police accuse Geer of sexually abusing the girl from the time she was 8 or 9 until she was 17.

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