FLORENCE — An Apache Junction man was sentenced Monday to 7.5 years in prison after he was arrested for video recording a 14-year-old girl taking a shower.
Jesse W. Sullivan, 45, pleaded guilty last month to voyeurism, a Class 5 felony, and attempted child molestation, a Class 3 felony.
According to court documents, Sullivan was arrested in December after a teenage girl saw someone recording her with a cellphone through a bathroom window. She recognized the phone as belonging to Sullivan.
The girl got out of the shower and hid inside a closet before running to a neighbor’s house to report the incident. Police found a tire standing at the bottom of a bathroom window, indicating someone may have stood on it to peer inside.
While being interviewed by police, the girl reported being molested by Sullivan when she was 8. She claimed to have been too scared to report the encounter earlier, court documents show.
After the incident was reported, authorities discovered Sullivan had fled to Coconino County. The defendant reportedly confessed to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office to video recording the teenager. A warrant was issued for his arrest and Sullivan was brought back to the Pinal County jail.
The victim’s mother addressed the court on Monday, calling Sullivan’s actions the “ultimate betrayal.” Her family will never be the same, she said, and the mother told Sullivan she could not forgive him.
Sullivan chose not to make a comment before his sentencing. His attorney, Brian Jones, told the court Sullivan is remorseful and takes responsibility for his actions.
Judge Kevin White sentenced the defendant to 7.5 years in the state Department of Corrections for the molestation offense and lifetime probation for the voyeurism charge. Sullivan was instructed to not have any future contact with the victim and he must register as a sex offender.
Deputy Pinal County Attorney Kristen Sharifi said the victim is recovering well from the incidents with Sullivan. She’s doing well in school and is channeling her energy into athletics.