UPDATE: January 9 Father of victim spoke against Sommerer’s bail release saying that the victim would be greatly in distress. Judge denies bail once more. If convicted, Sommerer could spend life in prison.
January 3, 2008 Coral Springs: John Sommerer, the accused sex offender and ex-Mayor of the City of Coral Springs was denied bail today. He was arrested on December 17 2007 on 9 counts of sexual crimes committed against a child, and held without bail pending today’s hearing. According to Channel 10 News, in a strange set of events, the father of the victim will be speaking on behalf of the Ex-Mayor at another hearing set for next week.
Coral Springs Police sources indicated that the Sommerer case was initiated based on a anonymous tip received on their hotline service and not from any family member of the victim. Based on the anonymous information, the Coral Springs PD performed a full investigation in which the victim was interviewed and witnessed confirmed the suspicions.
According to the CSPD they did not simply take a stab in the dark. More than 2 months of investigation was performed where detectives intensely examined the evidence and performed the interviews. Then, the warrant was issued and Sommerer was arrested. There was no special treatment offered the Ex-Mayor due to his previous position of authority. The same investigative methods, timing and procedures would and have been followed in any case of this type no matter the persons’ status.
We will try to keep you posted as events develop concerning this case. The original article and your comments appear below.
December 17,2007 Coral Springs : ( Rev 2 Dec 25th see below)
Coral Springs Police arrested a former Mayor in connection with sex crimes committed on a child under the age of 12.
John P. Sommerer, 60, of Coral Springs was arrested and charged with four counts of Lewd and Lascivious Molestation, four counts of Lewd and Lascivious Conduct and one count Lewd and Lascivious Exhibition. Sommerer was transported to Broward County Jail and is being held without bond.
John Sommerer was mayor of Coral Springs for 10 years from 1994 to 2004. He was defeated by the current mayor Scott Brook in 2006 when Sommerer tried unsuccessfully to stage a comeback.
According to the Arrest Warrant ( click here ) Sommerer allegedly committed these crimes between October 2006 and October 2007. The warrant does not mention the name of the victim but it does say that she was less than 12 years old. (removed line: There is also mention of what may be another victim that is less than 16 years of age)
Shocking as it may seem, the warrant is quite specific. Among the allegations are that the former Mayor played with the children’s genitals, breasts and buttocks. As well, an allegation that he forced the minors to ride a motorcycle with no underwear and other sex acts while swimming and asking them to spray water on his own genitals.
Of course there are always two sides to every story and in this country you are innocent until proven guilty. However, the sad part is how many people are so quick to wish him well as if he is going though some sort of health related event, saying things like ‘ he should have the strength to get through these ‘ rough time’ . They are so quick to come to his defense. How about the child involved in this particular crime? These ‘well wishing’ commissioners and ex-commissioners who know Sommerer forget the fact that should these allegations prove to be true and that he is convicted, perhaps more thought should be placed on the young child or children and their families. They are the true victims to the sex crimes committed by someone so prominent in our community.
As well, newspaper articles are no doubt going to discuss all of the great things Sommerer may have done for this community as if he died and they were hailing him in an obituary. It is important to focus on the fact that many children are victims of sex crimes which leave them with years of psychological problems. Even in our white bread community sex offenders are living amongst us often beyond the reach of the law, and often within the law after being paroled by our overcrowded prison system or having served their time handed to them by weak laws and lenient judges.
Perhaps when these stories come to the surface and someone well known is arrested, it is time to do a reality check, and make sure your children are safe and are not being subjected to these cowards. As well, perhaps it is time to see who your neighbor really is and make sure that a previous sex offender is not that nice looking man that says good morning to you every morning. One such site that gives you this information has always been available for you to freely inquire as to where these perpetrators and ex-offenders are.
We hope to have more on this story as it unfolds…..
Update : December 18th : For this crime to have been committed logic would suggest that the victim must have been a relative. That is because for the predator to have committed these crimes over a 1 year period of , the pedophile would have needed un supervised and complete access to the victim without supervision. In my research on Pedophiles, quite often a family member is attacked and the predator turns out to be a close relative. Trust is often the one tool used in order to create the atmosphere in which a Pedophile can operate.
The point here is not to actually find the name of the victim but to see the relationship and warning signs that were obviously missed during the course of a full 365 days or more. -H.M.
Update : December 25th : Sommerer will appear before Judge Cynthia Imperato of the 17th Circuit Court on January 3, 2008. Judge Imperato has been in the news as lately concerning the trial of Ammons, Hooks, and Daugherty for beating to death a homeless man, Norris Gaynor on Jan. 12, 2006. She denied the a motion by the defense to move the case out of Broward County and also accepted the motion by the prosecution concerning the right to introduce the fact that the three alleged killers fled the state. ( Obviously, Judge Imperato sounds like a tough cookie).