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Pinellas sex charge levied against man awaiting retrial in Pasco molestation case

Roy Joseph Seavey was convicted of molesting a young Pasco County teen in 2008. The victim testified against him, and so did two men who said Seavey also molested them when they were just boys. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

But then last year an appellate court threw out the conviction. The jury heard too much about allegations made against him in the past, the judges ruled.

Seavey, 49, was freed from prison and given a new trial.

But a jury's still going to hear about those past allegations.

That's because the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office decided to charge him with capital sexual battery in connection with the allegations made against him decades ago by a past victim.

In all three cases, Seavey is accused of preying on vulnerable boys — a special-needs student in one case, a boy recently arrived from Canada in another — then performing sex acts on them. But until this week, Seavey faced charges only in the Pasco case.

In the latest allegations, Seavey is accused of engaging in sex acts with the victim from the ages of 8 to 15. Seavey was 20 when he met the victim, a friend's little brother, in Seminole.

The victim told deputies he was watching TV with Seavey one day in 1980 when he performed a sex act on the child. The victim said he was abused every two weeks for the next year, according to an arrest warrant, then repeatedly raped by Seavey until 1985.

Seavey's retrial on the Pasco charge of lewd and lascivious molestation is set for Sept. 13 in New Port Richey.

In that case, authorities say that in 2005 he abused a 15-year-old boy who was a special-needs student at Hudson High. Seavey was convicted by a jury in just minutes. The circuit judge who sent Seavey to prison also declared him a sexual predator.

But in April 2009, the 2nd District Court of Appeal overturned the Pasco conviction and ordered a new trial. The appellate court said that the prosecution's closing focused too much on past allegations, crimes much worse than what Seavey was actually on trial for.

"The state spent (too much time) using the collateral crimes to classify Seavey as a predator who finds young boys' weaknesses, grooms them, and then sexually assaults them," the appellate judges wrote. "Instead of using the … evidence to argue that Seavey committed the charged crime as alleged by the victim, the state used the evidence to argue that Seavey committed the charged crime because he was a sexual predator."

The identities of all the victims are being withheld because of the nature of the alleged crimes.

Seavey was arrested Wednesday by Pinellas sheriff's deputies at 10034 48th Ave. N in St. Petersburg. He was being held in the Pinellas County Jail on Thursday in lieu of $250,000 bond.

Times staff writer Molly Moorhead and researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.

Pinellas sex charge levied against man awaiting retrial in Pasco molestation case 07/08/10 [Last modified: Thursday, July 8, 2010 11:40pm]
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