LADY LAKE -- A London resident and a Lady Lake registered sex offender have been arrested on allegations they repeatedly took turns molesting three young brothers -- at least once as the children's father slept nearby.
Miles Bradley Hal Esterson, 27, of London, England, and Jerry Lester Wiley, 45, of Genius Court in Lady Lake, were arrested late Wednesday, each on three counts of capital sexual battery.
At least one of the incidents allegedly occurred in room 151 at Days Inn on U.S. Highway 441 in Leesburg on Wiley's birthday, July 18.
According to an arrest affidavit, the three boys told investigators that Wiley and Esterson had sexually molested them a number of times while on vacations, hotel stays and shopping trips as well as visits to theme parks in Florida; the trips apparently were funded by Esterson.
Wiley had allegedly told the children he would "whoop" them if they told anyone.
The Lake County Sheriff's Office did not give the ages of the children, but victims 12 or younger makes the crime a capital sexual battery.
Cpl. James Vachon, Lake County Sheriff's spokesman, said detectives began investigating the allegations Wednesday after the children told their mother about the sexual abuse and she reported it to authorities.
The affidavit added Esterson was arrested at Wiley's home and that he admitted to detectives he had funded the trips for the children and their father. He also told detective that he and Wiley slept in the same bed with the children, according to the affidavit.
He said their father slept in a separate hotel room.
Vachon said the father apparently didn't suspect anything.
"There is no evidence that the father knew what was going on," Vachon said.
It's not clear why the father didn't suspect anything or if he knew the children were sleeping in the same bed as the two men. Or why the children would tell their mother of the allegations and not their father.
"Children disclose abuse when they are ready to," said Vachon. "There are any number of reasons why they pick a particular time or person to disclose to."
The Web site of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement lists Wiley as a registered sexual offender.
The affidavit adds that when arrested, Wiley wanted a lawyer and wasn't interviewed.