Caregiver, boyfriend arrested for sexually abusing special needs patients

A Manatee County Sheriff's Office investigation into possible sexual misconduct involving special needs adults led to the arrest of 25-year-old Jeremiah Damsgaard and his boyfriend, 30-year-old David Mackynen. 

Damsgaard was arrested on November 17 for molesting a 14-year-old boy on multiple occasions. According to the arrest report, he believed the boy was 12 or 13 years of age. 

On Monday, December 12, Damsgaard faced another charge, this time for sexual battery on an adult victim who suffers from an intellectual disability.

Damsgaard's boyfriend, Mackynen, was the victim's "support coach." 

Mackynen worked at several group homes over the past 12 years. He was also arrested on Monday for three counts of sexual battery against adult victims, ages 25, 29, and 50. 

According to the sheriff's office, the victims are have special needs and Makynen was contracted through the state of Florida as their support coach. He is also contracted through the state as a live-in coach, companion, and job coach.

Damsgaard was not associated with any group homes, however, he admitted to facilitating sexual acts between Makynen and one of the victims, for whom Makynen was a live-in caregiver. The 25-year-old victim told investigators that the abuse began when he was 16. 

Another victim, a 50-year-old, reportedly has the mental capacity of a 10-year-old. Makynen's boyfriend told investigators that he would increase the victim's doses of medications in order to get him to comply.

During the investigation, detectives also discovered allegations of fraud committed by the two suspects, according to the sheriff. Those allegations are being investigated by the Office of the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

The investigations are ongoing and additional charges are pending.

Deputies say there may be more victims and are asking anyone with information in the case to come forward. 

Contact the MCSO at 941-747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS.