$500K Bail Confirmed For Man Charged With Continuous Sexual Abuse Of Two Children

Jonathan Craig Jessee Jr. [Photo courtesy Cochise County Sheriff's Office]

A Cochise County man faces a lifetime in prison if convicted at trial of nine felonies related to the sexual abuse of two victims from 2016 to July 2023, and he will await that trial in the county jail unless able to post a $500,000 bond.

Jonathan Craig Jessee Jr. came under investigation July 30 when the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) received information that he was engaging in ongoing sexual conduct with a minor. Two victims were quickly identified by detectives, according to public records.

Jessee, 32, was arrested the next day following an interview with investigators. The justice of the peace who conducted Jessee’s initial court appearance set bail at $500,000 cash or secured bond.

On Aug. 11, a Cochise County grand jury indicted Jessee on nine felonies involving two victims. The charges are broken down in the indictment by victim and victim’s age, by time period, and by one of four locations within the county.

In addition, seven of the counts fall under Arizona’s Dangerous Crimes Against Children statute, which triggers mandatory prison terms of 10 to 24 years for each conviction involving sexual abuse of children at age 14 and under.

Jessee was recently arraigned in Cochise County Superior Court at which time Judge Jason Lindstrom affirmed Jessee’s bail. A trial will likely not occur until 2024 based on the court’s schedule.

A CCSO spokesperson says the investigation remains ongoing as there are concerns other victims have not been identified.

According to the indictment, Jessee is charged under Counts One and Two with continuous sexual abuse of a child “over a period of three months or more in duration” involving “three or more acts” against two different named victims.

Those acts allegedly occurred September 2016 through May 2020 at a specified location while each victim was under the age of 14.

Counts Three and Four allege the same criminal offenses against the two minors between May 2020 through February 2021. The indictment notes those counts were committed at a second location while each victim was still under the age of 14.

Similarly, Counts Five and Six also allege the continuous sexual abuse of a child involving at least three criminal acts over three months or more against each of the two victims between February 2021 through September 2022. The children were still under age 14 and the abuse occurred at a third specified location, the indictment notes.

Count Seven involves the same alleged continuous sexual abuse involving one of the named victims at a fourth location from September 2022 through July 2023. That count notes the child was still under 14 years of age.

Meanwhile, Counts Eight and Nine alleged specific acts of sexual conduct with the other victim between April 2022 and July 2023. Those counts allege the victim was at least 15 years old and that Jessee held “a position of trust” over the victim.

Anyone with information about possible victims is asked to contact CCSO Det. Mike McGeoghegan at 520-803-3284.

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