A former San Jose city employee was sentenced today to 35 years in prison after being convicted of soliciting bribes and extorting sex from massage parlor owners.
William Gerry, 47, was also found guilty of molesting two people years ago when they were children, according to the May 20 announcement from the Santa Clara County District Attorney.
Gerry, who worked for city code enforcement from 2007 to 2019 and moved to McKinney, Texas, received more than $140,000 from these extortion victims between 2017 and 2019. In lieu of payment, he coerced some of his victims to perform sex acts with him.
“This man abused his power over some of the most vulnerable members of our community – immigrants and children,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement.. “It is confusing and criminal when people use their trusted position of authority to hurt the people they are expected to help.”
Gerry was charged in November 2020 with felony counts of extortion of the massage parlor employees and owners. In return, he protected them from police raids by conveying confidential information he received from law enforcement as part of his job.
After charges were filed related to the extortion and sexual assault of massage parlor owners, further investigation revealed sex abuse crimes going back decades. Two victims came forward who were sexually assaulted by Gerry when they were children, prosecutors said.
One of the victims who came forward was assaulted by Gerry when he was a youth group leader at their church. Another victim was a relative who was molested by Gerry when she was a little girl.
Now 24, she was in the San Jose courtroom today, and said: “The defendant is set to serve 35 short years in prison for his crimes and even though I am thankful that he will be locked away and society will be safeguarded for now, I cannot help but sit in the pain knowing that I am serving a life sentence because he chose to destroy my life for his own pleasure.”