Maine woman helps police by recording ex-husbands confession
A local woman was in a Florida courtroom Wednesday hoping to see her ex-husband put behind bars.
It's a story that starts in Bangor and ends in Daytona, Florida.
Deborah Jones says, "May 14th, 2011 was the starting date of when he walked through the door and told me what had happened and my life fell apart."
Deborah Jones met Gerard Pepin online in 2005.
She says, "Instantly he was quite the gentleman."
At the time Pepin worked as an alcohol and drug counselor at his practice, Nova Counseling in Bangor.
In 2005 he was accused of crossing ethical boundaries with a client after hiring her as his secretary.
The client, who wishes to remain anonymous, tells us they had been friends for years before Pepin threatened to lie about her and exploited her.
She says, "He said if you won't date me and you won't provide sexual favors, I'm going to call the state on you and I'm going to have the kids removed."
The client says she felt trapped, "Everybody looked up to Gerard. Gerard did no wrong. Gerard walked on water. If he calls the state they're going to take my kids away because who are they going to believe me or him."
While the client lived in fear, Pepin and Jones moved to Florida and were married happily until one day in 2011.
Jones says, "When he came home he was white as a ghost and I said, 'What's the matter?' He said, 'I'm in lots of trouble."
According to an affidavit, while working in Daytona as a psychotherapist with the Salvation Army, Pepin had blackmailed a client into performing oral sex.
Jones says that the anonymous client reached out to her telling her story. Jones knew she had to do something so she called the Daytona Police.
She says, "I'm willing to sing like a canary.' I said, 'He had confessed to me and I'd like to try to help put him away so he doesn't continue hurting people.'"
Jones worked with police for a year and a half as an informant, having conversations with Pepin eventually recording his confession.
She says, "I held that digital recorder in my hand and I said, 'Oh my God. I have his life in my hands.'"
Jones was feeling an end to her ordeal was near, then the story took a bizarre twist.
Pepin was involved in a double suicide attempt. His new wife died when he ran their car off the road on purpose. He survived and would plead guilty to vehicular homicide.
Pepin was sentenced to five years in prison for that crime then extradited back to Daytona where a plea agreement was denied by a judge Wednesday.
Jones says, "Plea bargains, they never get what they deserve."
As the case continues, Jones says she's slowly getting her life back together and is working on a book about her ordeal.
She says, "If even just one person each day is empowered to speak up, it's worth it."