Crime

'We were out of our minds,' elderly twin says at sentencing for sexual abuse of children

Jack Cassidy, left, and his twin brother Jerry Cassidy.
Jack Cassidy, left, and his twin brother Jerry Cassidy.

One of the 78-year-old twin brothers accused last year of sexually abusing children was sentenced in Fayette Circuit Court on Wednesday to the maximum 20 years in prison on nine felony charges.

Jack Elliot Cassidy had entered the plea as part of a deal with prosecutors. His brother and codefendant, Jerry Cassidy, did not appear in court Friday because he is hospitalized.

Even though the charges weren't reduced in number or severity through the plea deal, Jack Cassidy told Judge Kimberly Bunnell that he agreed to it so victims wouldn't have to go through a trial. The twins' actions were blamed on a mental condition.

"They had an illness that they unfortunately never sought help for," Cassidy's attorney Fred Peters said.

Jack Cassidy said he and his brother "were out of our minds. We didn't know what we were doing."

Cassidy also is in poor physical health. He arrived at his sentencing in a wheelchair.

"Just about any sentence would be a life sentence," Peters said.

Bunnell said she tried to configure the sentence so Jack Cassidy would serve a certain amount of time for each victim, but with the 20-year limit, that was difficult.

"This has continued to impact the victims for the rest of their lives," Bunnell said.

Both brothers had previously pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of unlawful transaction with three boys ages 9, 11 and 12, in March 1977, when the twins were supervising a Lexington-based Boy Scout troop.

Police said they found hundreds of images of boys last August at the twins' home on Mason Headley Road.

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