Kindergarten volunteer accused of abusing second child
A Medford septuagenarian jailed on accusations he sexually abused a kindergartner faces new charges involving a second child.
Jerry Duane Lodge, 72, faces an additional felony charge of first-degree sexual abuse involving another child in the same White City elementary school class, according to a Jackson County Sheriff's Office release.
Lodge, of the 700 block of Crater Lake Avenue, has been in the Jackson County Jail since Dec. 8 on accusations he sexually touched a 5-year-old student at Lower Table Rock Elementary. Sheriff's detectives arrested Lodge Friday on the new felony charge. His bail increased to $1.25 million on the charge, jail records show.
A grand jury previously charged Lodge with two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, alleging Lodge touched the victim's genitals and made the girl touch his, according to court documents. Lodge pleaded not guilty to those charges Dec. 20, court records show.
Lodge allegedly met the victims while volunteering through the Foster Grandparent Program, according to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.
The Foster Grandparent Program, administered through the Community Volunteer Network division of Pacific Retirement Services, requires volunteers to pass a criminal background check before they're placed in the classroom. Aside from two minor traffic violations in Multnomah County, Lodge had no criminal history in Oregon.
Jackson County School District 9 notified parents of the arrest at the beginning of the month, with guidelines on how to help parents speak with children about improper touching and how to make a report.
Lodge has also volunteered at McLoughlin Middle School and Kids Unlimited in the past year, according to a previous news report. Investigators have so far found no allegations of abuse at those locations.
— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.