County Attorney

Thomas Jesse, 43, was sentenced to 80 years in prison after being found guilty of 40 counts of sexual abuse in the second degree. The sentencing took place on Friday, June 23, 2023, in Johnson County District Court. The verdict, issued on May 5, 2023, by Sixth Judicial District Court Judge Andrew Chappell, detailed each of the 40 sex acts committed by Jesse against a child under the age of 12, all of which were recorded by the defendant on video.

Jesse also pleaded guilty to a separate count of lascivious acts with a child, a class D felony, involving a 15-year-old victim. The five-year sentence for this charge will run consecutively with the other cases. Judge Chappell sentenced the defendant to 25 years in prison for three of the counts, to be served consecutively, while the remaining 37 counts will run concurrently.

Prosecutors had recommended a 125-year sentence given the severity of the crimes and their impact on the victims.

In the victim impact statement filed by the parent of the victim in the sexual abuse case, the court was urged to impose the maximum sentence on the defendant, stating that it is "reprehensible that you victimized a child who cared for you."

Jesse must serve 70% of each 25-year sentence before being eligible for parole. If released, he will be subject to lifetime sex offender registry requirements and lifetime parole.