MEDFORD, Ore. – A former classroom volunteer known as "Grandpa Jerry" to children in the kindergarten where he volunteered was sentenced to 75 months in prison for sexually abusing two students.
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office arrested 72-year-old Jerry Duane Lodge in December on accusations he sexually abused a 5-year-old girl while volunteering at Lower Table Rock Elementary School in White City, Oregon.
Detectives later identified a second victim in the class.
"During an interview with detectives, Lodge confirmed both girls’ claims that he touched their genitals on the inside of the their underwear," the sheriff's office said in a statement. "Lodge told detectives he found opportunities to touch the girls when others weren’t looking. He said he even did so in the middle of the classroom, using his body to shield the act from the teacher. The girls reported that Lodge told them to keep the abuse a secret."
Lodge was in the classroom through the Foster Grandparent Program facilitated by Community Volunteer Network. Participants must pass a criminal background check.
Lodge will serve the full sentence with no possibility of early release under Oregon's mandatory minimum sentencing guideliness, commonly known as Measure 11.