Friday, January 19, 2018
Public safety

Sex offender accused of molesting quadriplegic at Palm Harbor nursing home

PALM HARBOR — A 68-year-old registered sex offender has been arrested based on accusations that he molested a quadriplegic at a Palm Harbor nursing home.

Pinellas County sheriff's deputies arrested Bobby Lee Jones Wednesday afternoon on a felony charge of lewd and lascivious battery of an elderly or disabled person.

Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cecilia Barreda said the incident allegedly took place at a health care center and that both Jones and his victim were residents of the facility. She said the Sheriff's Office began investigating after a report from a center employee.

An arrest affidavit lists Jones' home address as 3825 Countryside Blvd., the address of the Countryside Rehab and Healthcare Center.

The facility is run by Consulate Health Care, a national nursing home chain that operates more than 200 centers in 21 states, including multiple facilities in the Tampa Bay area, according to the company's website.

An administrator at the Countryside facility said the company was preparing a response to questions about the incident from the Tampa Bay Times, but no response was delivered by Thursday evening.

The arrest affidavit states that Jones' victim, a man, claimed Jones "came to his bedside, placed his hand on the victim's inner thigh," and then began fondling him "against the victim's will."

The affidavit also noted that the victim, who was not identified, "suffers from unspecified quadriplegia and was unable to retreat."

After his arrest, Jones admitted molesting the man to Sheriff's Office investigators, according to the affidavit.

Jones is a registered sex offender in the state of Florida. In 2008, he served six months in prison after a conviction for having sex with a minor, according to the state Department of Corrections.

Misty Cash, a department spokeswoman, said Jones was supervised by a probation officer after his release from prison, but that supervision ended in May of last year. She said there was no record of Jones committing any violations of the terms of his release during his supervision period.

Jones' last listed residence in the state sex-offender registry, entered in April of last year, was at 3825 Countryside Blvd., the address of Countryside Rehab and Healthcare Center.

Jones was being held at the Pinellas County Jail on $20,000 bail.

Peter Jamison can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4157.

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