TROY, N.Y. – A man accused of sexually abusing young children was arrestedon Friday and on Saturday, his father and former employer spoke out.
Jesse Sawyer Jr., 25, is facing federal charges for allegedly taking photos of himself sexually abusing several young children. At least one victim was under the age of five. After several weeks with a warrant out for his arrest, he was captured in Pinellas Park Florida, where he is still in jail.
Sawyer's father, Jesse Sawyer Senior, declined to speak on camera with NEWS10 ABC but did say that he saw the photos on his son's phone and said something had to be done about it. He said the person who showed him the photos contacted police.
His father said that the ordeal has been painful for the family and they want it to be over with. He said he reached out to speak with Jesse but was told he cannot yet by authorities.
Randy O'Melia of Troy, Jesse's former boss, said he was troubled when he saw his mug shot. O'Melia worked with him at a local hospital.
"I wasn't, like, really surprised that he was in trouble with the law," said O'Melia.
O'Melia said he also discovered he lives in the same Troy neighborhood as Sawyer did. He wasn't surprised when Pinellas Park Police in Florida finally found him and arrested him.
"Well when they said they were looking for him my first guess was he probably went to Florida because that's where he took off for before," he said.
The Pinellas Park Police Department said on Friday that Sawyer was arrested after he had signed himself into the Calvary Chapel mission in St. Petersburg, using his real name. However, the department let him go after he was detained for about an hour because they say the arrest warrant wasn't faxed over in a timely manner. Troy Police say it's their understanding that they had 90 minutes to get the arrest warrant to police in Pinellas Park. Pinellas Park police say they waited an hour, but they had to release Sawyer because he was never in custody and had never been charged. The warrant was faxed over about six minutes after Sawyer was released.
Pinellas Police searched for Sawyer for several hours, finally arresting him near a strip mall.
Jesse Sawyer Senior also said that although he felt something had to be done about the photos he believes that Troy Police are making them out to be even worse than they are. He said he expects Jesse to come back to Troy to face charges but that is not yet known since they are federal charges.
The FBI and marshals will then coordinate his transfer back to the Capital Region.