Twin, 77, pleads guilty to nine sex abuse-related charges in Lexington court

Jack Cassidy
Jack Cassidy

One of the 77-year-old twin brothers accused last year of sexually abusing children pleaded guilty to nine felony charges Wednesday in Fayette Circuit Court.

Jack Elliot Cassidy entered the plea as part of a deal with prosecutors. His brother, Jerry Cassidy, did not appear in court because he was ill. Sentencing for Jack Cassidy is Oct. 16, and a status hearing for Jerry Cassidy is scheduled on the same date.

Charges were not amended in the deal, but Jack Cassidy told Judge Kimberly Bunnell he did not want the victims to have to come forward for a trial. He could face up to 20 years in prison.

"It would be as humiliating for them as it would be for us," Jack Cassidy said. "I don't want them to have to do that."

Charges included counts of sodomy, sexual abuse and possession of child pornography.

After being pushed in his wheelchair closer to the judge's bench so he could hear her, Jack Cassidy said he was guilty of each of the counts with which he'd been charged.

However, when asked whether he had committed each of the acts specifically, such as performing oral sex on a child, he was slow to respond.

When asked whether he had possessed photographs of children who were naked or in suggestive poses, he repeatedly said, "I guess."

Only after several minutes of explanation from the judge and reminders of photographic evidence from assistant prosecutor Lou Anna Red Corn did Cassidy respond with a yes.

Jerry Cassidy is "slowly dying," Jack Cassidy said. Both men were allowed to stay home pending sentencing and Jerry Cassidy's hearing. They turn 78 next month.

Bunnell told Jack Cassidy that he needed to realize that there was a "strong possibility" he would go to prison and that someone else would need to care for Jerry Cassidy.

"No one wants to help us," Jack Cassidy said. The twins have tried several nursing homes, but they've been turned away because of the felony charges against them.

Bunnell recommended calling Adult Protective Services.

The twins were indicted last year on charges of possessing child pornography, sodomy, sex abuse, and indecent and immoral practices with a child younger than 15.

They were accused of sexually abusing multiple victims. The earliest offense dates to 1970 and 1971, when Jerry Cassidy allegedly engaged in sexual contact with a child younger than 15. Other offenses allegedly occurred from 1972 to 1976.

Both brothers 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.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader