OZARK — An Ozark man is sentenced to 70 years in prison after pleading guilty in Dale County Court to three felony sex crimes against a child under the age of 12. Jeremy C. Morris, 34, pleaded guilty to a charge of first-degree rape and two charges of first-degree sexual assault of a child under the age of 12 before 33rd Judicial Circuit Judge Bill Filmore at the Dale County Courthouse in Ozark Thursday afternoon. Filmore sentenced Morris to 30 years in prison on the first-degree rape charge and 20 years each on the two first-degree assault charges, to run concurrently.
Filmore told Morris that he is not eligible for parole under the terms of the plea agreement, he has waived his right to appeal the sentence, and will be required to register as a sex offender. Morris was arrested in September 2022 after the Dale County Sheriff’s Department received a call for assistance from the Tallahassee, Florida, police in reference to an online undercover operation involving electronic solicitation of children.
TPD told them that they were communicating with a man in Ozark who was soliciting sexual contact from children from an undercover officer, Dale County Sheriff Mason Bynum said at the time of Morris’ arrest. “Based on this information we executed a search warrant on the suspect’s residence in Ozark,” Bynum said.
“As a result of that search warrant and interviewing other individuals, additional evidence was uncovered that led us to charge Jeremy Morris with first-degree rape, and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a child under 12. “This case started because somebody saw something and said something,” said 33rd Judicial Circuit District Attorney Kirke Adams, calling Tallahassee Police Department Detective Paul Osborn a hero.
“Law enforcement did a fantastic job on an investigation that covered multiple jurisdictions,” Adams said, commending Caroline Jackson with the Dale County Sheriff’s Office, Steve Sanders and Sam Redmon with the SBI, and Heather Whelan-Holt with the FBI. Bynum echoed the praise. “I applaud Lt.
Caroline Jackson and her team along with our state and federal partners who aggressively go after those who choose to prey on our children,” Bynum said. “This is another example of us delivering on our promise to stand up for and protect our most valuable resource, our children.”