The Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s office will not prosecute a Clearwater couple accused in a lawsuit filed in March of abusing more than 20 foster boys over decades. Prosecutors said they determined the statute of limitations had expired in the cases.
The state attorney’s office said in May it began looking into allegations of sexual abuse against Jacklyn and Jerold Logemann that were contained in the civil complaint.
The state attorney’s office told the Times this month it is “unable to prosecute these cases as the alleged sexual acts brought to us by (the Clearwater Police Department), which would have taken place in our jurisdiction, are barred by the statute of limitations.”
However, some of the alleged sexual acts involving minors may not be precluded from prosecution by the statute of limitations in another county, the state attorney’s office said.
According to the lawsuit, Jerold Logemann took the boys to a place referred to as the “river house” in Citrus County, where he allegedly sexually abused them.
Sgt. Shelley Clark, a spokesperson for the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, confirmed on Tuesday that detectives are early in their investigation into the Logemanns.
“Detectives are in the preliminary stages to determine what crimes and when they may have occurred in Citrus, if any,” Clark said.
In 2020, Florida passed Donna’s Law, which removes the statute of limitations for “any sexual battery offense involving a victim younger than 18 at the time the offense is committed.”
The bill only applies to crimes committed on or after July 1, 2020, and does not apply retroactively.
The Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office said that because it determined the statute of limitations had expired in the cases of the people they spoke with, the office could not go further in its analysis to determine if it could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that abuse had occurred.
The Logemanns’ attorney, Rick Escobar, told the Times on Wednesday he was aware that Pinellas prosecutors would not pursue charges and “never expected charges to be filed.”
His law firm conducted its own investigation in Pinellas and Citrus counties and did not find evidence to support the allegations, he said.
“The Citrus County case will not be filed either,” Escobar said. “There is no evidence — here, in Pinellas, in Citrus — there is no evidence, period, that in the least bit corroborates any of these allegations. So we are not concerned.”
In January, the Logemanns were investigated by the Clearwater Police Department for a report of neglect and abuse at their home. Police closed the case after they determined there was not enough evidence to corroborate the allegations. However, police said the case was reopened in May after further allegations.
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A separate Department of Children and Families investigation also did not find evidence of abuse, but recommended that foster children no longer be sent to the Logemanns’ house.
Rob Shaw, a spokesperson for Clearwater police, confirmed last week the agency had closed its case involving the Logemanns.
The civil case was initiated after one of the Logemanns’ former foster boys saw news coverage of the January incident. The man connected with a West Palm Beach attorney, Adam Hecht, and shared his story. Others came forward, and they filed a lawsuit in March against the Logemanns and a number of local child welfare agencies.
In an amended complaint, 24 plaintiffs, all of whom are men or boys who are former foster children of the Logemanns, are listed in the case and are represented by Hecht.
William Sheeler, 28, and Chevonte Thomas, 28, are part of the civil suit against the couple. Both men said they were sexually abused by Jerold Logemann while they were were foster children in the Logemanns’ home.
Hecht said some of his clients, including Sheeler and Thomas, received a letter from the state attorney’s office stating it would not pursue charges against the Logemanns.
“It was kind of like, oh yeah well, this is it, the person that’s doing all this is still going to walk this Earth and do it to other little boys, and I basically failed to help them,” Thomas said.
However, both men are encouraged that Citrus County is going to look into the allegations and are happy to see the case continue. Hecht said he’s pleased with the work the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office has put into the case so far.
“Citrus County might be the last option,” Sheeler said. “I hope they really look into this and want to press changes ... but it has been nice, every step of the way that we’ve been able to at least get further and further.”