Lake City man facing 6 counts of sex crimes against children

In 2011, Jonathon Crary was convicted on similar charge out of Suwannee County

LAKE CITY, Fla. – A Lake City man who was once at the center of a high-profile sexual assault case in Suwannee County is now facing similar charges in Columbia County.

Jonathon Crary is charged with three counts of sexual assault and three counts of lewd and lascivious behavior on minors.

Crary, 34, was booked Tuesday into the Columbia County Jail and ordered held on $3.7 million bond. 

Though most of the details in the six-page arrest warrant were blurred out by deputies, law enforcement sources told to News4Jax that the two victims are siblings, one under the age of 14 and the other under the age of 10. 

Investigators confirmed Crary is not related to the children. It’s unclear if the assaults happened at his Lake City home.

“Nobody deserves the right to hurt a child in any way -- physically, sexually, emotionally," said Donnie Fowler, Crary's neighbor. "No one deserves that right to do that to anybody.”

It’s unclear when the alleged assaults happened. But according to the warrant affidavit, a complaint was filed on May 31. The following day, detectives said, they met with the victims and their parent to get more information about what happened.

One neighbor, who asked not be identified, said that on any given day, he would see multiple children, who appeared to range in age from 4 to 11, going in and out of the home. 

“I kept on saying why kids are over here because it’s got to be filthy. Look at the yard, it’s a mess," said neighbor Lee Fowler. "I was, like, 'Why do they keep bringing them over here?' I don’t get this."

Crary is no stranger to these types of charges. News4Jax uncovered he has multiple previous arrests in Columbia and Suwannee counties.

In 2008, authorities in Suwannee County charged Crary with four counts of child sexual assault. Three years later, he was only convicted on one count and served a short period of time in prison. 

Neighbors, many of whom have grandchildren, were shocked when News4Jax told them about Crary's 2011 conviction.

"This is the very first time I have ever heard of it," Donnie Fowler said.

"It just makes my skin crawl," Lee Fowler said. 

News4Jax reached out to the Suwannee County Clerk of Courts to get court documents on that previous sexual assault case, but was told the documents may not be available until Friday. 

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