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Safety Harbor man arrested on child sex charges

SAFETY HARBOR — Pinellas County sheriff's deputies have arrested a Safety Harbor man they say committed multiple sex crimes against two children, including sexual battery on at least one of them, during the past decade.

Jerome Alan Spencer, 55, of 3104 Avocet Place faces six felony charges: one count of capital sexual battery, three counts of lewd and lascivious molestation, one count of false imprisonment and one count of sexual performance by a minor. He is being held without bail at the Pinellas County Jail.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Spencer committed the offenses between December 2000 and July 3 of this year.

The victims are a 7-year-old girl and a 15-year-old girl, authorities said. The crimes occurred at a private home in north Pinellas County. Their names are not being released because of their ages and the nature of the crime.

In August 2006, deputies say, Spencer committed sexual battery on a 12-year-old.

That same month, Spencer brought one of the girls into an empty apartment, threatened violence and told her "if she screamed he would duct tape her mouth shut," authorities say.

That victim was forced to take off her clothes, after which Spencer made a video of a sexual nature of the girl, deputies said. According to deputies, Spencer admitted after his arrest to bringing the child to the location and making a video.

From June 27 until July 3, Spencer committed lewd and lascivious acts against one of the girls "multiple times," deputies say.

Crimes against the 7-year-old occurred recently while her mother was out of the house, authorities say.

When the mother returned and discovered what happened, she contacted police. After interviews with detectives, the 15-year-old victim also was identified.

Spencer was arrested about 5:30 p.m. Thursday at 39650 U.S. Highway 19 in Tarpon Springs, where he is a maintenance worker for a condo association.

Safety Harbor man arrested on child sex charges 07/17/09 [Last modified: Saturday, July 18, 2009 10:12am]
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