Neighbors twice sought deputies' help at CPA's home
Published: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 8:42 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 8:42 p.m.
Timothy Deegan's neighbors didn't know exactly what was going on in his house, but the activity and people they saw around the residence were enough to get them to call law enforcement to their neighborhood twice.
On Friday, they found out the screams and yells they heard apparently were from three women who officials say the local accountant terrorized, forcibly prostituted, and videotaped in sex acts that he would later put online. Deegan is accused of giving the women drugs in exchange for sex and for keeping his house at 2676 NW 106th Way clean.
Deegan, who is a CPA and owner of Deegan Professional Tax Service, was arrested on a warrant Friday and charged with three counts of human trafficking. The 53-year-old remained at the Alachua County jail Wednesday on $300,000 bond.
One of Deegan's neighbors told The Sun on Tuesday evening that he saw disturbing activity at the home, including women lying in the grass. Once the neighbor said he saw a girl slumped in the fetal position on the driveway, moaning.
The neighbor said he also heard screams and yells from inside the home, and that three weeks ago a car followed his daughter around the neighborhood. That car later pulled over to Deegan's house.
The Alachua County Sheriff's Office had responded to Deegan's home 11 times since June 2013, and two of those responses stemmed from neighbors calling to report suspicious activity at his house, said sheriff's spokeswoman Sgt. Becky Butscher.
Butscher added that neither of those calls were about screaming or yelling from inside the house or the women lying outside the home. The subject of each of the 11 calls was not immediately available on Wednesday.
George Shorter, president of the Meadowbrook Ridge homeowners association, also spoke to a Sun reporter on Tuesday and said he and other neighbors questioned why Deegan was allowed to come back to their subdivision after his earlier arrests.
Detectives said Deegan met the women in 2013 through a website where the women booked clients as sex workers, according to a sworn complaint filed by the Gainesville-Alachua County Drug Task Force. At first, Deegan would record sex acts involving the women and stream the videos onto an adult website, authorities said.
Later, he began prostituting them, providing transportation and booking hotels for the women and taking the money they earned, paying them with cocaine instead, officials said. Soon, Deegan took control of their lives, setting up traps inside his house and threatening the women with weapons to stop them from leaving, according to the sworn complaint on which the human trafficking charges are based..
Records show Deegan monitored the women's movements by using a GPS on their cellphones and by hiding small cameras around his home, which he also used to record sex acts without their knowledge, authorities said.
Detectives first began investigating Deegan after one of the women called the Alachua County Sheriff's Office in December 2013 and reported she had found a video that Deegan had recorded of him raping her while she was incapacitated on prescribed sleeping medication, the sworn complaint said.
In that December 2013 incident, Deegan was arrested on a sexual battery charge and later released from the Alachua County jail on a $250,000 bond. The sexual battery charge was later consolidated into the human trafficking charges, Alachua County court records show.
Detectives later discovered Deegan was affiliated with several known drug dealers, authorities said. The drug dealers would pay Deegan in cocaine for leasing vehicles to transport illegal drugs, the complaint said.
In April, officials arrested Deegan for cocaine possession and possession of drug equipment, but he was released on his own recognizance in May, according to court records. Although officials dropped those charges on Tuesday, State Attorney's Office spokesman Darry Lloyd said the dropped charges were the result of a mix-up and that the office refiled the charges on Wednesday.
Deegan is scheduled to appear in court June 24 for an arraignment hearing regarding the human trafficking charges. Lloyd added that he anticipates more charges will be filed against Deegan as the case progresses.
Lloyd said people tend to think of human trafficking happening in other countries, but that in reality, it happens locally more often than we realize.
"It is not all on television in a place far away or just at the border," he said. "It's here locally, and a lot of it involves young people that are vulnerable."