THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) – A Thomasville woman and a man from Florida are in jail for sex crimes authorities say they committed a year ago. They may have gotten away with the crimes if not for an anonymous complaint that gave investigators a second chance.
Baytree Estates is a quiet place where neighbors pretty much stay to themselves. But Greg Chappell couldn't help but notice one of his neighbors' suspicious activity.
"You've gotta assume things when an older white man is with a younger woman. You kinda wonder, but you let it go and stay out of it and don't get involved," said Chappell.
What he saw was 70-year-old Gene Gaskins visiting 37-year-old Requetta Jones on a regular basis. The two were the main suspects in a sex crime involving a 16-year-old girl at a Thomasville hotel last year.
"It is a traumatic event," said Family Therapist & Trauma Specialist Yoheved Artzi. "She's only 16. It's going to be a traumatic event in her life. It will affect her sleeping, her behavior will change dramatically. She will not be the same person anymore."
The case never closed but it did go cold for a bit. Then last week, someone called investigators with a new complaint that gave them a chance to reorganize their evidence and get the confession from both Jones and Gaskins.
Authorities went after Gaskins first, then they came for Jones, who lives here, on Friday.
Jones' neighbors are shocked to hear about her arrest. "As far as the neighbors go, like with most neighbors, you don't really know them," said Chappell. "And if this is all true, then I hope they get what they should get. Because I'm a firm believer that if anyone is doing something to a child, molesting or abuse, I believe they should get the most punishment possible. "
Chappell, who has grandchildren that visit him often, says he'll keep a closer eye on his neighbors now. "What do you know? But now, this close to home, it makes you want to be more alert. "
Alert and ready to make sure no one else in his neighbor is a sexual predator.
Both Requetta Jones and Gene Gaskins remain in the Thomas County Jail, charged with sexual exploitation of children, prostitution by compulsion, and cruelty to children.
Investigators would not comment on whether any other sexual abuse cases are pending against the two.