PANAMA CIY, Fla. (WMBB) – A Naples man was charged with sexual battery of a victim under 12 years old at a Panama City hotel in July 2018.
The suspect was identified as 44-year-old, Jeremy Thomas Rhodes of Naples, Florida.
On April 28, The Lee County Sheriff’s Office received information that Rhodes sexually abused 4 girls, one as young as 7 years old. Rhodes and the victim’s families have had a close friendship since 2009, according to court records.
One of the victims in the case disclosed to her mother the sexual abuse occurred while on a trip to Panama City with Rhodes for a softball tournament. Since the crime allegedly happened in Panama City deputies with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office notified the Panama City Police Department in September about the case.
Rhodes was issued a $250,000 during his first appearance in court in Panama City on Tuesday. However, he was also ordered held without bond because he was listed as a fugitive from justice.