From the Virgin Islands comes a tale of two Jeffreys, and the difference great wealth can make when it comes to sex crimes—until it doesn’t.
Both Jeffreys were convicted of shameful crimes that required them to register as sex offenders in whatever state or jurisdiction they resided.
Jeffrey _____ pleaded guilty in Florida to engaging a minor in prostitution in a 2007 plea deal only a super-rich guy could have swung. He did 18 months locked up, mostly in a private wing of the Palm Beach County jail, where he only stayed at night, returning each morning to “work release.”
He then proceeded to prove that a registered sex offender with enough money in the Virgin Islands can just continue to come and go from a private island off the coast of St. Thomas, with an ever-changing entourage of girls who appeared to be barely in their teens. He would announce his periodic return by raising the American flag over the opulent hideaway identified on the maps as Little Saint James Island, but known to locals as “pedophile island.”
Jeffrey No. 2—Jeffery _____—was convicted in Ohio of a misdemeanor charge of voyeurism in 2009. He was a schlub of modest means, but his offense was relatively minor (if creepy) and he needed neither wealth nor influence to receive just a suspended sentence of 90 days and two years probation.
“The underlying conviction, which requires Mr. _____ to register as a sex offender, did not involve a minor, physical violence, or physical touching of any kind,” his present attorney, Melanie Turnbull, noted in court.
Once he successfully completed probation, _____ moved to Georgia, where he registered as a sex offender. He moved to the Virgin Islands in 2018 and has not been charged with engaging in further voyeurism or any other crimes.
The problem for this Jeffrey was that he failed to register promptly in his new home as a sex offender. The U.S. Attorney for the Virgin Islands, Gretchen Shappert, did not miss an opportunity to convey through the media how seriously her office takes such matters.