Crime

Twins accused of having child porn pleaded guilty in 1977 to sex charge involving minors

Jerry, left, and Jack Cassidy
Jerry, left, and Jack Cassidy

Twin brothers who were arrested last week after police found them with sexual images of children pleaded guilty 37 years ago to engaging in sexual misconduct with three boys in their Boy Scout troop.

In March 1977, Jack Elliott Cassidy and Jerry Allen Cassidy pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts of unlawful transaction with a minor after three boys, ages 9, 11, and 12, told police they had gone to the Cassidys' home on Mason Headley Road at separate times.

The 9- and 11-year-olds, who were brothers, said they had been nude with their hands and feet bound, according to an article from the Herald-Leader archives. Each reported being in bed naked with Jerry Cassidy.

The twins, then 39, lived with their parents, and the children said they were sneaked in through a bedroom window. The twins still live in the same house.

The men had been affiliated with the Boy Scouts about five years; they resigned after pleading guilty, according to the newspaper accounts.

Then-Juvenile Judge Anthony Todd, who presided over the case, initially sentenced the men to one year in jail on each count, in addition to fines, but he later probated their sentences and some of the fines, requiring the men to serve two weekends in jail.

The judge also ordered psychiatric testing for the twins, saying, "I was frankly very much concerned with preventing any reoccurrence."

The newspaper accounts also said that, in the judge's estimation, it appeared the boys had not suffered any permanent physical or psychological damage.

Todd ordered the twins to have no more contact with the boys, the Scouts or any youth organization.

The father of two of the boys said after the sentencing that the Cassidys were "just slapped on the wrists."

The Cassidys were charged last week with possessing or viewing material portraying sexual performance by a minor. They entered preliminary pleas of not guilty in district court; they are due back in court Wednesday.

Lexington police found "several hundred images" of boys, many in sexual situations, in the Mason Headley house, according to court documents. Among them were images of the Cassidys, now 76, with young boys, according to a police affidavit filed Monday in Fayette District Court.

Police said in the affidavit that among the items were images showing "the subjects tying up a young boy."

Police have not indicated when or where they think the materials were produced.

Police found the pictures and other items Aug. 11 in the Cassidys' house, according to the documents. The Cassidys were arrested early Aug. 12.

The affidavit describes how police became involved in the case.

It says police went to the Cassidy home the evening of Aug. 11 "in reference to suspicious activity and a subject down" at the house.

The affidavit says an ambulance crew told officers that Jack Cassidy refused to let the crew enter the house. He said nobody else was there, according to the affidavit.

However, a police officer could see through a window that a naked man was on the floor "with rope and dog collars lying next to him," according to the affidavit. The officer then ordered Jack Cassidy to step aside. The man on the floor was extremely intoxicated, the affidavit says.

Once inside, an officer "observed several printed images" of boys ages 8 to 15 in various stages of undress. Most of the images were sexual, according to the affidavit, and they included "many different" boys.

Officers later found "several hundred images, movies, negatives slides, etc," the affidavit said. Some showed the Cassidys with boys, it said.

Police also seized "papers with names and birth dates, timeline" and a "poem book about each child" from the floor of a bedroom closet; four bottles of hair samples and two "books containing logs of sexual abuse" from a second bedroom; and material in a locked trunk in a third bedroom, according to documents filed in court.

Asked Monday whether the photos found last week could lead to additional charges, police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said only that the investigation was continuing.

Neighbors said the Cassidys kept to themselves.

"We didn't know them," said Mick Shambro, who lives next door.

He said he never saw anyone besides the twins coming and going from the house.

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