Prosecutors formally charge an Arkansas City man with 14 counts of sex crimes against children.
Fifty-year old Jerry Mills made his first appearance in court Thursday. He was charged with crimes including rape and indecent liberties with a child.
Mills bond is set at $100,000. He is still in custody.
Before he is released, Mills will have to go before a judge - with his attorney and the monitoring company. If he is released, Mills will have to wear an electronic tracking bracelet.
Police arrested Mills over the weekend on more than 230 charges including rape and sodomy.
Those who know him say they're shocked. "Until i have some concrete proof that he's done this I'm skeptical," neighbor Gloria Bahrugh told Eyewitness News.
Skeptical, because the man Bahrugh knew, her next door neighbor is a good man and one who's involved in the community. She saw kids in and out all the time and had no reason to suspect abuse.
"They acted like they loved and worshiped him and never showed any fear and usually there was an adult mother or woman over there when they were there," Bahrugh said.
Years ago Bahrugh's own daughter spent the night at his house with the man's daughter who was around the same age but says nothing happened.
"As soon as I heard I called her up and asked her if. She said nothing happened and was just as shocked as i was," said Bahrugh.
But his arresting charges tell a much different story. Five counts of rape, 60 counts of aggravated criminal sodomy, 30 counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, 20 counts of indecent liberties with a child and 115 counts of indecent solicitation of a child.
Those who knew him warn not to pass judgment until you have all the facts.
The Arkansas City Parks & Recreation Department released the following statement in response to the charges.
Jerry Mills was a volunteer of the Ark City Fishing Derby. The community event was established in 2003 to provide local youth the opportunity to become involved in the sport of fishing. In 2006 the event was named Sgt Jerry Mills Jr. Fishing Derby in honor of Jerry Mills’ son, who was killed in the Iraq war in Nov 2005
The fishing derby committee was stunned in hearing the news of numerous allegations of child abuse charged against Jerry Mills. Fishing Derby Committee Member Casey Doty stated, “Our group has never seen or heard anything from him that would lead us to believe he would do something like this”
The Sgt Jerry Mills Jr Fishing Derby is a community event consisting of numerous volunteers and sponsors. The Derby provides fishing activities as well as community health and aquatic safety programs for over 150 area youth per year.