By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
An Atmore man was arrested January 26 and is charged with committing sex crimes against a young member of his family over a period of several years.
Vonsha Jones, 29, of Atmore was arrested by Atmore police and processed into the Escambia County Detention Center. He is charged with one count each of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12, first-degree sodomy (for being a person older than 16 who engages in sodomy with a person under the age of 12) and first-degree sexual abuse (fondling a girl younger than 12).
Sgt. Darrell McMann reported that Atmore Police Department detectives were contacted in November 2021 by a case worker with Alabama Department of Human Resources, who was investigating a complaint from a child who had “recently disclosed memories of sexual abuse” and who now lives in the Atmore area.
Child Advocacy Center personnel interviewed the victim several weeks later, McMann said, and discovered the abuse began when the victim was under 12 years of age and continued over a three-year period.
An employee of the Escambia County Detention Center’s booking and release division reported that Jones was released from jail Monday, January 30, after a $100,000 bond was posted on his behalf.
Dustin Gates, a 37-year-old Perdido man who was indicted in 2019 for sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12 and enticing a minor for immoral purposes, was also arrested January 26.
Escambia County Sheriff Heath Jackson, after talking with District Attorney Steve Billy, said the latest arrest was made after the most recent county grand jury “amended one of the charges in the original indictment.” Jackson added that Gates had not to his knowledge committed any new crimes since his 2019 arrest by sheriff’s officers.
The amended indictment added a charge of first-degree sodomy (for being a person older than 16 who engages in sodomy with a person under the age of 12) to the charges specified in the original indictment.
The Perdido man remained behind county bars, under a $300,000 bond, early Tuesday, January 31.