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Sex abuse long suspected in case of former Clearwater fire Chief Jamie Geer, documents show

CLEARWATER — Former fire Chief Jamie Geer, arrested in December on charges he molested a girl for nearly a decade, expressed confidence he wouldn't get caught, according to court documents.

"You know, I don't think they have a case," he told his alleged victim last fall, documents show.

The conversation took place just three weeks after Geer was interviewed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and just two weeks before his arrest, according to court documents released Wednesday.

"And he kept making comments like that," the girl told investigators.

Geer, 57, Clearwater's fire chief since 2004, was arrested Dec. 13 and is charged with capital sexual battery, lewd or lascivious battery and unlawful sexual activity with a minor. He is being held on $500,000 bail in the Pinellas County Jail.

Geer was fired from his job. Robert Weiss, who had been Geer's second-in-command, is serving as the city's interim fire chief.

The allegations against Geer were first reported in an anonymous letter sent to the FDLE in September. In court documents, investigators say they do not know who sent the letter, but several people they interviewed said they suspect it came from someone at Clearwater Fire Rescue.

Authorities say Geer molested the girl from the time she was 8 or 9 years old until she was 17. The girl, who is still 17, is not named in the court documents because authorities believe she is the victim of a sex crime.

New details about the investigation emerged from the court documents released by the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's office Wednesday.

Among them:

• At least two employees of the Clearwater Fire Department had heard allegations that Geer had sexually abused a minor. One of the men said he confronted Geer on several occasions, including once in Geer's city office.

• The 11 videotapes found in Geer's city-issued Crown Victoria did not contain pornographic images, but investigators said it looked as though the content had been taped over. There was, however, a brief image of what appeared to be a teenager or young woman wearing black lingerie at the beginning of a tape investigators seized from Geer's home when they executed a search warrant. Geer's victim told detectives that Geer made her wear black lingerie and videotaped her, according to documents.

• The girl told FDLE agents that Geer molested her when she was pregnant with her daughter, who was born in October 2009. She said that a paternity test had never been done because she was certain she conceived the child with a boyfriend who was also a teenager. The girl also said Geer had previously had a vasectomy.

• A therapist who treated the girl said she told him about the sexual abuse and he reported it to the state abuse hotline in March 2010 — six months before FDLE received the anonymous letter. The man said he was told it would be logged into FDLE's system, but not investigated. The reason given to the therapist is redacted from a summary of his interview with FDLE agents.

The girl initially denied that anything had happened between her and Geer. But a few weeks after she was first interviewed, the girl contacted investigators and said the allegations were true and that she lied so Geer wouldn't get into trouble. She also said it took her some time to understand the acts were unnatural, because Geer had normalized the behavior over many years.

Geer denied the allegations when he spoke to FDLE agents in November. After his arrest, Geer declined to talk to investigators again and said he wanted to speak to his attorney.

The girl said she wants to see Geer prosecuted.

"I want to see him punished," she said in the documents released Wednesday. "I just want him to be able to remember every day what he put me through."

Rita Farlow can be reached at farlow@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4157.

Sex abuse long suspected in case of former Clearwater fire Chief Jamie Geer, documents show 02/23/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 9:38pm]
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