Burglar Blames Adoptive Father

Date: 1993-08-13

By BETSY GUNDERSON, of the Stuart News staff

STUART -- Scott Jones broke down a few times in court on Thursday when he talked about his troubled life of crime, sexual abuse and drug addiction.

He told of a former Boynton Beach cabinetmaker who adopted him as a young teen and began sexually molesting him less than a week later.

He described fear and shame, the feelings he shared with several other boys who once lived with David Allen Lindsey, a 1980s Florida ``father of the year`` who is now in prison for molesting the children he adopted.

Peering from a table where he sat next to his attorney, Jones told Martin County Circuit Judge Larry Schack that Lindsey is to blame for his many problems.

``My problems started when I was 14 years old ... when I was living with a man I thought was going to be my father,`` Jones said. ``I know my past is because of David Allen Lindsey Sr.``

Prosecutors said they can sympathize with the trauma Jones suffered at the hands of his adoptive father. But they are not so quick to blame all of Jones` problems on Lindsey.

Assistant State Attorney Richard Seymour said Jones, 24, has an extensive criminal history that began when he was 8 years old. Since then, he has been in and out of juvenile detention centers, jails and prisons.

Jones was in court on Thursday to be sentenced for his most recent crime wave -- a dozen or so burglaries he confessed to this year in Martin County.

He was sentenced to seven years in prison for three of those burglaries. That sentence will be followed by a year of ``drug-offender probation`` -- an intensive form of probation designed to rehabilitate drug abusers.

The sentence was the maximum Jones could get under the state`s sentencing guidelines, Seymour said. He will probably end up serving much less than the seven years.

But he will serve additional time for a sentence he received earlier in another Martin County case. He had been set free on a conditional release in that matter, but he got in trouble again.

``This guy was out of prison for 16 days and he was stealing again,`` Schack said.

Jones said he began stealing to support a crack cocaine habit -- something he blames on Lindsey.

Now Jones says he wants help. He is begging for it. He said he wants to straighten out his life.

Everyone else in the courtroom seemed to want that, too.

His mother, Dorothy Jones of Hobe Sound, asked Schack to get her son help. So did Charles Theisen, whose family took Jones.

Schack said he will recommend to the Department of Corrections that Jones receive the drug treatment he needs.

Jones said he has become lost in the prison system before. This time, he hopes, things will be different.

Lindsey drew widespread attention in the early 1980s when he became one of the first bachelors in the state to adopt foster children.

After the first foster child came forward to report the abuse, the spotlight changed. Soon he was known as a pedophile and a manipulator who seduced the boys in his care.

The boys were so ``enslaved`` to Lindsey that they would do almost anything he asked, Jones said. For example, Lindsey once gave him money to bribe a state`s witness -- something that got him another criminal charge on his record.

``He bought us off with money, cars and other things,`` Jones said.

And drugs, Jones said. Lindsey got him hooked on crack cocaine, he said. Once he started, he could not stop.

Thursday was the first time Jones talked publicly about Lindsey. But it will not be the last.

``I hope to write a book about the horror Mr. Lindsey put me through,`` he said. ``And I want to talk to the other boys. I`d like to help them get through their grief.``

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