Habitual Sex Offender Arrested Twice This Week - Southern Maryland Headline News

Habitual Sex Offender Arrested Twice This Week

Vernon Jon Gifford, of Lexington Park was arrested twice this week for sex offenses against minors. He was out on work release after pleading guilty to assaulting a 7-year-old child in 2006.
LEONARDTOWN, Md. (November 23, 2007)—Police in St. Mary's County on Wednesday arrested 62-year-old Vernon Jon Gifford, of Lexington Park, for a third-degree sex offense against a child that allegedly occurred in November 2005. Detectives from the Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) say they just recently learned of the incident.

Police say that in November 2005, Gifford worked as a carpenter and was helping the victim's father when he lured the victim into his van and committed a third-degree sex offense. The victim, a female, was 7-years-old at the time of the offense. Police say the offense occurred in California, St. Mary's County, Maryland.

Gifford was just arrested on Monday, November 19, and charged with child abuse and child abuse by sexual exploitation.

Monday's charges were the result of an investigation into an incident on Thursday, November 15, in which Gifford, allegedly exposed himself to a 6-year-old girl while at her residence in Lexington Park.

Gifford is a registered sex offender. He was on work release from the St. Mary's County Detention Center when the November 15 incident occurred. His work release status has been revoked.

Gifford was sentenced to two three-year jail terms in September 2006 after he pleaded guilty to a third-degree sex offense against a 7-year-old girl, that occurred on April 21, 2006, and a separate assault against another female. Both sentences were reduced to 18-months each along with five years of supervised probation and the condition that Gifford have no contact with the victims or their families. The 18-month terms were to be served consecutively.

Gifford is a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer.

Gifford's Offense Chronology:

November 2005: Third-degree sex offense against 7-year-old female (Alleged).

April 21, 2006: Third-degree sex offense against a 7-year-old girl (Pled Guilty).

September 18, 2006: Pleads guilty to April 21, 2006 incident and another assault. Two 3-year sentences reduced to 18-months each with 5 years supervised probation.

November 15, 2007: Exposed himself to a 6-year-old girl while at her residence in Lexington Park while on work release (Alleged).

November 19, 2007: Arrested for Nov. 15, 2007 incident.

November 21, 2007: Arrested for Nov. 2005 incident.

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