BONIFAY – A former corrections officer is charged with the sexual battery of two victims under the age of 12.
47-year-old Jack Phillip Cates of Bonifay was arrested Wednesday after an investigation by the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation and subsequent arrest came after a local pastor contacted HCSO with concerns regarding a conversation he had with the victims. According to law enforcement reports, the alleged abuse went on for approximately six years, and Cates admitted a portion of the allegations to investigators.
He is charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation and one count of sexual battery. The investigation is ongoing, and more charges could be pending, as a third victim has come forward to investigators. Cates was housed in the Walton County Jail and has been released on a $250,000 bond.
He previously worked at Holmes Correctional Institution, where he was a sergeant and led the K9 team for several years until his retirement.