ATHENS — A Limestone County mother used her cellphone to record a male family member admitting to fondling her 12-year-old daughter, court records show.

Jimmy Lee Clay Jr., 20, 130 Four Mile Road, Waynesboro, Tennessee, is charged with first-degree sexual abuse, a Class C felony, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Clay was being held in Limestone County Jail on Monday with bail set at $15,000.

Clay was staying with relatives in Athens when some of the family noticed him going in and out of the girl’s bedroom, said Capt. Stanley McNatt, Limestone’s chief investigator.

When the mother confronted Clay, he told her he went into her daughter’s bedroom, fondled the girl’s breasts and "thought about having sex with her” while she was sleeping, according to a report filed in court records.

McNatt said the incident occurred sometime between Aug. 1-5, and the mother reported it Aug. 6.

“It’s first-degree sex abuse because the girl was physically helpless since she was asleep and unable to stop him,” McNatt said.

The mother also recorded Clay saying he had been watching the mother and her husband having sex through a crack in their bedroom door, the report says.

A warrant, signed by investigator Leslie Ramsey, was issued for Clay’s arrest Friday and he was booked into jail, court records show.

Family members told investigators they weren’t sure of Clay’s permanent address but said it was somewhere in Wayne County, Tennessee.

When contacted, family members in Tennessee brought Clay in for an interview, McNatt said.

If convicted, Clay faces one to 10 years in prison.

A preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 23 at 1:30 p.m. or 256-340-2443. Twitter @aremkus1.
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