A former corrections officer has been sentenced to 10 years in state prison for molesting minors.

Jack Phillip Cates of Bonifay, who formerly worked at the Holmes Correctional Institution as a sergeant and led the K9 team for several years until his retirement, entered a felony plea on Thursday, Dec. 21, according to court records. 

Cates will also serve an additional five years of probation.

An investigation came after a local pastor contacted the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office with concerns regarding a conversation he had with two victims. According to law enforcement reports, the alleged abuse went on for several years, and Cates admitted a portion of the allegations to investigators.

Two more alleged victims later came forward, resulting in additional charges and a new arrest warrant.


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