GREENFIELD — A Greenfield man accused last month of molesting a teenager now faces new charges of child molestation after a woman who heard about the case came forward and told investigators she was victimized by the same man more than 20 years ago.
Jerry W. Privett Jr., 47, was arrested in late September after a high school student told school officials Privett had harmed her repeatedly from 2009 to 2015, according to court records. After hearing word of Privett’s arrest, a second woman told police she was harmed by Privett between 1990 and 1995, court reports state.
Privett faces two felony charge of child molesting associated with the teen’s accusations and one felony charge of child molesting based on the most recent victim’s report.
The abuse started when the woman was 4, she told police. Privett would have been in his 20s at the time, court records state. He abused her when he was baby-sitting her at the time, the woman told investigators.
The assaults happened more than a dozen times, and each was followed by a lecture, the woman said; Privett would “tell her if she told anyone that her parents would not love her anymore, they would send her away, and she would be the one who got into trouble, not him,” court records state.
The woman told police she decided to come forward with her story because she believed it would validate the recent accusations of a local teenager.
Privett was arrested after a high school student told her school counselor that Privett started molesting her when she was in the fourth grade. The girl said the mistreatment started as inappropriate touching and fondling and progressed to sex, court records state.
Privett was interviewed by Hancock County Sheriff’s Department detectives following the first report but never returned after officers asked him to take a lie detector test, court records state. He was being housed in the Hancock County Jail when the second allegation was reported. He asked to speak with his attorney after a brief interview with police, court records state.
Hancock County Prosecutor Brent Eaton said the new victim was one of several community members who contacted the prosecutor’s office after Privett’s arrest, and the investigation is ongoing.
Both of Privett’s cases have been filed in Hancock Circuit Court.
Privett faces two Class A felonies, which each carry a penalty of up to 50 years, and a Class C felony, which carries a penalty of up to eight years.