Serial Groomer in Cottondale Charged with Sexual Abuse of Young Girls
A Cottondale man has been charged with four felonies for allegedly abusing young girls he groomed with alcohol, gifts and "house parties," investigators announced Wednesday morning.
The Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit investigates nearly all instances of sex crimes in Tuscaloosa County, and VCU commander Jack Kennedy said his team has been investigating the suspect, 64-year-old Raymond Eugene DeWoody, for some time.
Kennedy said police were given a tip that DeWoody was grooming young girls between the ages of 11 and 16 by giving them alcohol and other gifts, taking them to sporting events and hosting house parties the children attended.
Kennedy said the VCU believes this has been happening for the last several years.
As investigators dug deeper, they identified multiple juveniles who may have been victims of sex crimes. Kennedy said the VCU followed every lead, interviewed dozens of witnesses and ultimately presented their findings to a grand jury.
The grand jury indicted DeWoody on four counts, including two counts of first-degree sodomy, one count of first-degree sexual abuse and sexual abuse of a child less than 12 years of age.
The Cottondale man was jailed on these felony charges Tuesday, where his combined bond was set at $50,000.
"Investigators believe that it is highly likely that there are other victims of this suspect," Kennedy said. "We encourage anyone who may have been a victim of Raymond Eugene DeWoody to please contact the Violent Crimes Unit at 205-464-8690."
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