LOVE, HONOR, BETRAY How Deborah Jones helped convict her husband Gerard Pepin for sex crimes

In 2004 Deborah Jones was living in Skowhegan, Maine and working in the mental health field, which she really liked. She had been married and divorced before, but she was now single so she decided to try out online dating, which is how she connected with Gerard Pepin. They had a lot in common and he checked a lot of boxes for Deborah, so she was excited to talk to him and meet him. He worked with at-risk teens, which was close to Deborah’s profession. They soon got married, but she soon found out that her new husband was not who she thought he was.

Gerard had been sober for 16 years after struggling with alcoholism. Deborah admired that he was honest about his life.

In August 2005 Gerard suddenly announced that he was burnt out and wanted to sell his business and move to Florida to be near his parents. Deborah decided to move from Maine to Florida in order to keep the relationship. That summer, Gerard proposed to Deborah in front of friends in Maine.

They soon got married and then went on a Caribbean Honeymoon cruise. Deborah felt like a teenager again during this fun time. The next day Gerard broke his sobriety with a beer. Deborah wondered if she should have been worried about this. She chose to ignore it, however.

After the honeymoon, the couple’s real estate business was failing so they found fulltime jobs in the same fields they worked in before. Gerard started working at a methodone clinic. Deborah noticed another red flag when she visited him at work. She noticed that he treated his clients like friends, which violates professional distance.

Gerard was soon fired from this job for promoting alternative treatments to the clients. He found work again at the drug treatment program at the Salvation Army. When Deborah went to visit Gerard there she found that his office was behind two locked doors, and was near the female dorms.

One Saturday morning, Gerard went into work. He came home “white as a ghost” and told Deborah he had been accused of having a client give him oral sex in his office. Deborah was shocked, but Gerard was taking the situation flippantly. “What? You’ve never cheated on anybody?” he asked.

Deborah got in her car and drove off. She felt betrayed and alone because everyone else she knew was 1500 miles away. At 4 a.m. the next day, police arrived at their house. An detective told Deborah that Gerard wasn’t the man she thought he was. The police were looking to see if Gerard had a video camera.

Gerard admitted that he had purchased a vibrator for one of his clients, but denied any sex act. The victim claimed that the incident was filmed, but no video or camera was found. After Gerard was taken away, Deborah felt too embarrassed to tell anyone what happened.

Gerard came back a few hours later. He told her he had been forced to admit to the vibrator because his fingerprints were on it. Deborah asked if she taped the oral sex in his office, and he nodded. He said, however, that he would never admit to it.

Deborah immediately left for Maine. She was ashamed about why she had had to come back. A few months later Deborah got a phone call from one of Gerard’s former clients in Maine. She said that she had been hired as his secretary and he had blackmailed her into performing sexual acts on her. Because of he had hired a client, he had been fired from his job. That was the truth about why he had wanted to leave Maine for Florida. He’d been lying the whole time.

Deborah was now inspired to dig deeper into her husband’s life to find out the truth about him. She called the police and asked what she could do to help. They advised her to get divorced and then record their conversations. 

Deborah say she “groomed” Gerard to open up to her. She used his emotional attachment to her to try to pry information out of him. While he did reference regret, he remained pretty vague, but Deborah was determined to get him to confess on tape.

She used psychological knowledge she had gleaned from her work in mental health to steer the conversation where she wanted it to go. She would use details to put him back in the scene that he didn’t want to talk about. She asked if she used the vibrator on the girl, and he denied. She then directly asked him if all that happened in the office was oral sex. He said “yes,” which was exactly what Deborah wanted to hear.

This admission, however, didn’t result in any immediate legal consequences for Gerard. He moved on with his life and got married again to a woman Deborah believed was one of his clients.

On June 12, 2014, Deborah finally got an email that Gerard was arrested in Panama City, FL. Police had found a witness who was willing to testify against him. He was charged with a felony count of sexual battery (because of his position at the Salvatin Army) and a felony count of sexual misconduct by a psychotherapist.

Gerard, who was out on bail, tried to kill himself during a suicide pact with his wife Gina. Gerard crashed their car into a tree. He survived, but Gina died. There was a suicide note in their hotel room. Gerard had also written a spiteful note to Deborah blaming her for his death. He told her “my blood in on your hands.”

Gerard pled guilty to vehicular homicide for his role in Gina’s death and was sentenced to 5 years. He wasn’t convicted of murder because they were both in a suicidal state.

In January 2019, eight years after the initial Salvation Army incident, Gerard was put on trial. His victim testified at his trial. She said he had led her from her doom room to his office, where he had a camera. He gave her a vibrator. She said she tried to get away from him, but he blackmailed her with a love letter she had written to another person in the probation program. It was against the program’s rules to “fratenize.” He then forced oral sex on her.

He was found guilty of both felony counts in this case. The judge reprimanded him for exhorting sex from a person in a vulnerable state. Deborah was at his sentencing and felt relieved that he was found guilty. He is serving 20 years in prison for the indicident in Florida, but he has never been charged for what he did in Maine.

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