Two Bradenton men have been arrested and charged after they allegedly sexually abused special needs adults.
Jeremiah Damsgaard, 25, of Bradenton, was arrested on November 17 and charged with one count of Lewd and Lascivious Battery on a victim 12 to 16 years old and four counts of Lewd and Lascivious Molestation on a victim 12 to 16 years old. Damsgaard was also charged on December 12 with one count of Sexual Battery on an adult victim. The victims involved are 14 and 29 year old males.
David Makynen, 30, of Bradenton was arrested on December 12 and charged with three counts of Sexual Battery on an adult victim. The victims are 25, 29 and 50 year old males and are all special needs adults. Makynen was the victims' support coach, contracted through the State of Florida. According to deputies, Makynen was employed at several group homes over the past 12 years.
Damsgaard was not employed by any of the group homes.
"Both of them seemed to work together to take advantage of these people," said Dave Bristow with the Manatee Co. Sheriff's Office.
According to arrest reports, the two men lived in a duplex on 20th St. W. in Bradenton where Makynen was tasked with helping adults with special needs.
"Some of the victims were living there, some of the victims would just come over there and get what they thought was individual care," said Bristow.
The property manager says the two suspects left recently owing rent and causing hundreds of dollars in damage.
"The dry wall was eaten away in one of the bathrooms, every single door has to be replaced, and the kitchen cabinets are destroyed, everything," said Chip Schoffield.
During the investigation, deputies also found that the two men reportedly committed fraud. The Office of the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is investigating those allegations.
The investigation is ongoing. If you have any information on this case, please call the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at 941-747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS.