Friday, April 20, 2018
Public safety

Former Clearwater resident jailed in sex slavery case

Timothy Deegan, the son of a former Clearwater city commissioner who worked with the Catholic church, spent his teen years in a waterfront home on Island Estates. He went to the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he spent the ensuing decades establishing his life as a well-known tax accountant who lived in a well-to-do home complete with a sculpture of St. Francis.

Now Deegan is in the Alachua County Jail, accused of living a sordid secret life of sexual assault, drugs and terror. The 53-year-old is accused of enslaving three women in his home, prostituting them, videotaping sex acts that he posted online, and feeding them drugs in exchange for sex and housekeeping.

According to a complaint filed by the Gainesville-Alachua County Drug Task Force, Deegan met the women last year via Backpage.com, where they booked appointments with clients for sex.

Initially, Deegan would record his sex trysts with the women and stream the videos on an adult website. But soon he was driving them to appointments with other men, pocketing the money they earned and paying them with cocaine instead, according to the complaint.

His hold over their lives progressed until he was tracking their movements with a GPS on their cellphones, and recording sex acts using cameras hidden in his home, the complaint said. He set up booby traps to keep them from leaving.

In December, one victim reported to the Alachua County Sheriff's Office that she had discovered a video of Deegan raping her while she was drugged on sleeping pills, the complaint said.

Deegan was initially charged with sexual battery. In a complaint unsealed last week, he is charged with three counts of human trafficking.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement records show Deegan has arrests dating back to 1979, including for disorderly conduct and resisting an officer in Clearwater, and trafficking cocaine and other drugs in Alachua County.

Deegan spent his formative years in Clearwater's Island Estates community and graduated from Clearwater High School.

His father, Art Deegan, served on what was then the City Commission in the 1990s.

Art Deegan and his wife, Patricia, moved to Clearwater in 1972 and still live in the same house on Island Estates where they raised three children.

After a career as a management consultant, Art Deegan opened an office in Clearwater where he ran the Conference for Pastoral Planning and Council Development, an association of planners for Catholic churches. He and his wife served on various civic and charity boards.

Art Deegan became president of the Island Estates Civic Association, then was elected to public office in 1992. He lost a bid for re-election in 1995.

He declined to speak about his son's arrest Thursday.

Timothy Deegan, who owns Deegan Professional Tax Service, is to be arraigned Tuesday.

Florida corporation records list him as the current or past president, director, manager or treasurer of about two dozen businesses or organizations.

Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Keyonna Summers can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Phones, privacy and death: A case study

Phones, privacy and death: A case study

LARGO — Most people agree what the Largo detectives did at the funeral home was legal.What they diverge on is whether it was appropriate."I just felt so disrespected and violated," said Victoria Armstrong, whose fiance, Linus F. Phillip., was shot an...
Updated: 3 minutes ago
Woman attacks door of special needs bus with kids inside, curses at driver, deputies say

Woman attacks door of special needs bus with kids inside, curses at driver, deputies say

TAMPA — In an apparent fit of anger, a woman banged on a special needs bus door until it cracked. Children were inside and may have heard the string of profanities she shouted at the bus driver, deputies said.Now they want her to pay $250 in damages....
Updated: 1 hour ago
Suspect in Gilchrist deputies’ slayings has Tampa Bay ties

Suspect in Gilchrist deputies’ slayings has Tampa Bay ties

The man identified as the suspect who fatally shot two Gilchrist County deputies in a restaurant Thursday afternoon before taking his own life has ties to the Tampa Bay area.Deputies say John Hubert Highnote, 59, of Bell — who was found dead outside ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Authorities say motive in deputy killings may never be known

Authorities say motive in deputy killings may never be known

TRENTON — Investigators in Florida say they may never know why a man - a recluse from a rural farm community who rarely ventured into town - killed two sheriff’s deputies while they sat in a Chinese restaurant. John Hubert Highnote, 58, of Bell casua...
Updated: 4 hours ago
One injured, suspect in custody in Ocala school shooting

One injured, suspect in custody in Ocala school shooting

OCALA — One student shot another in the ankle at a Florida high school and the suspected shooter is in custody, authorities said Friday.The Marion County Sheriff’s Office reported that the shooting happened Friday morning at Forest High School, which...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Flight attendants say ‘appalling’ Southwest flight photo confirms it — you’re not paying attention to the safety demo

Flight attendants say ‘appalling’ Southwest flight photo confirms it — you’re not paying attention to the safety demo

Mario Nunez called it a "huge shaking my head moment" when the photo inside the cabin of Southwest Airlines flight 1380 appeared on his TV.The story was about a terrifying emergency landing after an engine exploded 20 minutes into a trip from New Yor...
Updated: 6 hours ago
A state trooper kept pulling women over to ask for dates

A state trooper kept pulling women over to ask for dates

TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey State Police trooper accused of repeatedly pulling over women to ask them out on dates has been indicted. The state attorney general’s office announced Thursday that 32-year-old Eric Richardson faces charges including off...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Pinellas detention deputy fired for using racial slur

Pinellas detention deputy fired for using racial slur

LARGO — Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri fired a detention deputy Friday after an internal investigation found he used a racial slur to describe black inmates.A fellow Pinellas County Jail deputy reported Jorge Lopez, 30, after he repeatedly used the s...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Portion of I-75 reopens in Sarasota after smoke settles over road

Portion of I-75 reopens in Sarasota after smoke settles over road

SARASOTA — A 10-mile stretch of southbound Interstate 75 has reopened in Sarasota County, after it was shut down earlier Friday morning due to smoke in the road.According to broadcast reports, the smoke was caused by a a prescribed burn in the area ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Fugitive suspected in Bradenton woman’s death arrested in Texas

Fugitive suspected in Bradenton woman’s death arrested in Texas

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas — A woman suspected of killing her husband in Minnesota, then fleeing to Florida and killing a woman who resembled her in order to assume a new identity, was captured Thursday night at a South Texas resort.Two federal deputy...
Published: 04/20/18