A 44-year-old Ocala man is behind bars after he was accused of having inappropriate contact with a girl over a four-year period, beginning when the victim was in elementary school.
A Marion County Sheriff’s Office detective was assigned to investigate the case after law enforcement was alerted to a possible sexual offense involving a juvenile victim under the age of 16. On Tuesday, November 14, 2023, the detective observed video footage of a forensic interview that was conducted with the victim at the Kimberly’s Center for Child Protection, according to the arrest report.
During the interview, the victim stated that a man, identified as Jarrell Lavas Wilkerson, “has been making inappropriate comments and touching her body in inappropriate ways.” She advised that the incidents, which started when she was in fourth grade, occurred between January of 2019 and October 17, 2023.
The victim described instances when Wilkerson would “come up behind her” and “touch her chest with his hands in a playful manner under her clothes.” She also stated that Wilkerson made inappropriate comments of a sexual nature, including an instance when he asked her if she “enjoyed watching pornography,” according to the arrest report.
The detective noted that Wilkerson’s spouse had filed a report with the sheriff’s office on December 23, 2022, after the victim disclosed the alleged incidents involving Wilkerson. At that time, the report stated that Wilkerson’s spouse “expressed concerns about allegations of inappropriate comments and allegations being made against (her husband),” though the case was ultimately closed due to her “lack of cooperation.”
The report stated that on October 17, 2023, the victim disclosed that Wilkerson drove her to a middle school volleyball game and then picked her up afterward. When she got into the vehicle, she stated that she saw Wilkerson’s exposed penis, and she advised that his hand was moving “up and down on his penis” under his clothes.
On Thursday, November 16, 2023, the detective made contact with Wilkerson’s spouse over the phone. She advised that several girls have made allegations about her spouse “touching them in inappropriate places.” She stated that she believes the girls are being truthful, according to the report.
The detective noted that on Friday, November 17, 2023, Wilkerson was located at his residence and transported to an MCSO office for an interview. After being read his Miranda rights, Wilkerson stated that he would take the victim to school-related sporting events because he is “into sports” and coaches junior varsity football at Vanguard High School.
When confronted about the claim that he exposed himself to the victim in his vehicle, he initially denied the allegations. However, the report stated that he later admitted to driving with the victim in the vehicle while his penis was exposed.
Wilkerson claimed that he was “relieving himself into a bottle” shortly before the victim entered his vehicle, and he “didn’t have time to put (his penis) away.” He further told investigators that he “usually drives with his hand down his pants holding his penis” because it “feels warm,” according to the report.
During the post-Miranda interview, Wilkerson also admitted to having conversations with the victim about pornography and sexual intercourse.
Wilkerson was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where he is currently being held without bond. He is facing felony charges for lewd and lascivious molestation and lewd and lascivious exhibition.
A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.
In a press release, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office stated that detectives are concerned that Wilkerson may have more victims. If you feel that you are a victim of Wilkerson, or you know someone who may have been a victim, MCSO asks that you contact Detective Karla Santana-Palau at 352-368-3548.