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Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014
Pasco Tribune

Sex offender accused of molesting girl; caregivers face charges


Published:   |   Updated: March 14, 2014 at 03:27 PM

Pasco County detectives said a sex offender arrested this week on child pornography charges molested a 4-year-old girl last year, and the child’s caregivers face charges in connection to the assault.

Clarence David Dingler, a 60-year-old registered sex offender, was arrested Wednesday on 15 counts of possession of child pornography at his New Port Richey home.

On Friday, deputies added a charge of committing a lewd and lascivious act on a child younger than 12.

One of the child’s caregivers, Crystal Hodgson, 26, of New Port Richey, was arrested on a charge of child neglect and failure to report child abuse.

The other caregiver, Gary Horsley, 33, has been in the Bradford County Jail since Feb. 2 on burglary and larceny charges, according to jail records. Pasco officials have issued a warrant for Horsley’s arrest on charges of child neglect and failure to report child abuse.

According to deputies, the girl told Hodgson that she was molested by Dingler in March or April 2013. Hodgson and Horsley and the child were living at Dingler’s home at the time, deputies said. Hodgson told deputies she removed the child from the house “immediately” after learning of the assault, an arrest report states.

This past Tuesday, Hodgson asked to allow the child, now 5, to stay at Dingler’s home, and detectives conducting the search at the home a day later found the girl there, the arrest report states.

Hodgson told detectives she was aware of Dingler’s sex offender status, the report states.

She said she did not report the molestation last year because Horsley had a warrant out for his arrest and they did not want to attract attention from authorities, a sheriff’s office spokeswoman said.

Hodgson also faces a charge of possession of marijuana.

Detectives searching Dingler’s residence, at 6511 Santee Court, found more than 200 files of sexually explicit photos and videos involving minors on a computer in his bedroom, according to an arrest report.

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