Garvin County authorities now know the disturbing signs were there for a Paoli man leading a teenage girl down a dark path.
Investigators say Jerry Lee Walker, 39, appears to have been over time slowly pushing one particular Paoli girl into his world of favors that include nude images all the way to forced sexual acts.
Walker's exploitation of the girl for more than a year now has him behind bars on 14 felony charges ranging for forcible sodomy to lewd acts with a child and soliciting sexual conduct with a minor.
Topping it off is Walker is facing a $500,000 bond, which could have been even higher as Garvin County prosecutors asked for that total to be $750,000.
A judge has laid out some conditions if Walker is ever released from jail, which include not being allowed to have contact with the girl or any minor; plus, no access to the Internet or any electronic device capable of communication.
Sheriff Jim Mullett says this is a disturbing case because of what Walker was doing over the months to lead the girl down a path of sexual exploitation.
“This is a very scary case,” Mullett said.
“In this investigation we could see a pattern where he was grooming this girl. He had been in contact with her for a year. He started texting her, then he asked for inappropriate videos and then went to offering money for favors.
“We're still working to see if there are other victims. If there are other victims out there call us. We will work with you to help you through it.”
It was back in early September when authorities were told a Paoli girl, now 16 years old, had come forward to disclose she had sent nude photos of herself to a man.
That man turned out to be Walker as a record of text messages between the two starting in 2019 when the girl was 14 shows Walker had offered to pay for sex.
A court affidavit shows she refused those offers but did accept money to meet Walker to provide him with naked photos of herself.
During at least three occasions when they met for an exchange the girl said Walker groped her. Two times she said Walker forced her into a sexual act, while another instance he offered to pay $400 for sexual intercourse.
The girl disclosed the first time she met Walker to exchange money she asked, “Why me?”
She said his response was “it's better with children.”
Late last week Walker submitted a request for a court appointed attorney as his next court appearance in the case is scheduled for later in October.