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Grand Jury Hands Down Indictment Against Ohio ‘Peeping Tom’ Who Failed To Register As A Sex Offender

CHARLOTTE AMALIE – A federal Grand Jury handed down an indictment six days ago against a St. Thomas resident who failed to register as a sex offender here.

Jeffrey Cole, 57, of Ohio was indicted by a federal Grand Jury on February 21, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

Cole appeared in court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller where he entered a plea of not guilty, according to Shappert.

Cole’s trial date is scheduled for April 15.

According to the indictment and court records, Cole was convicted for “voyeurism” in the State of Ohio in 2009.

Cole moved to the State of Georgia where he registered as a sex offender. Cole relocated to the Virgin Islands in 2018, and failed to register.

Under federal law, Cole faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine.

Shappert said that an indictment is merely a formal charging document and is not in and of itself evidence of guilt.

“Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty,” she said.

This case is being investigated by the United States Marshal Service.

It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Everard Potter.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 50 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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