Anonymous letter initiates investigation leading to 12 counts of statutory sodomy

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A Scott City optometrist who until a few months ago worked at an eye care office in Cape Girardeau was charged Tuesday with 12 counts of statutory sodomy with a 16-year-old boy.

Dr. Sean de Jager, 57, of 507 Helene St., Scott City, was arrested Monday for having an alleged extended sexual relationship that the boy has said included payments for sexual acts.

De Jager is being held at the Scott County Jail on a $250,000 cash or surety bond. He could face up to seven years in prison for each of the 12 counts.

The alleged victim said as many as 50 incidents occurred, but Scott County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Boyd filed fewer counts because, he said, he didn't want to weigh the jury down with 50 individual charges. Two types of sexual acts were allegedly performed, so Boyd filed two charges for each month from June through November.

According to a sworn statement submitted by Scott City police Sgt. Joseph Hann, the boy said during an interview on Monday that De Jager paid him $20 for sexual acts on about 20 occasions.

Hann wrote that De Jager voluntarily drove to the Scott City Police Department Monday for an interview, during which De Jager denied paying money but confessed to the sexual acts.

Both the victim and De Jager stated that one or two of the acts occurred at the optometrist's office in Cape Girardeau, Hann said in the statement.

Cape Girardeau police are looking into the two incidents that allegedly happened in Cape Girardeau to see if any charges need to be filed, said spokesman patrolman Jason Selzer.

Scott City police began the investigation Friday when they received a 4-by-5-inch note card in the mail. The envelope did not include a return address and was postmarked in Cape Girardeau. The unsigned letter identified De Jager and alleged that he was engaging in sexual activity with a 16-year-old boy, who was also identified.

"I have no idea who sent the letter," said Scott City police chief Don Cobb.

Police are investigating De Jager's work history and residency in Scott City, Cobb said. Police do know De Jager was born in South Africa and has lived in Scott City for at least a year.

jmetelski@semissourian.com

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