Jeremy Stephenson

A former Gainesville firefighter pleaded guilty Wednesday in Grayson County district court to the sexual assault of a minor in 2019.

Jeremy Mikel Stephenson, 32, will serve 10 years deferred probation, be placed on the state’s sex offender registry for life and is subject to a lifetime protective order prohibiting any contact with the victim, who was under the age of 14 at the time of the attack, according to Grayson County District Attorney Brett Smith.

Smith said the family supported the plea deal, which spared the victim from having to testify at trial.

“The family was on board,” said Smith. “They were supportive of our decision (to offer a plea deal) … they and we felt like this was the easiest way to bring closure to this.”

Stephenson was arrested by Grayson County sheriff’s deputies in June 2019, after they received a report of sexual assault at a home in Denison.

“The child’s parents were at the location, but the initial call was from someone else,” said Capt. Sarah Bigham of the sheriff’s office at the time of the arrest. “There is no family relationship between Stephenson and the victim.”

Leah Gore, human resources director with the city of Gainesville, said Stephenson worked as a firefighter with Gainesville Fire-Rescue from Aug. 25, 2014 to March 19, 2018. Stephenson previously worked elsewhere as a firefighter and police officer, according to previous reports.

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