A 74-year-old man was arrested Friday and charged with sex crimes against children after Sarasota County detectives say he molested a child years ago who was as young as 4.
Albert Phillips, of Sarasota, is accused of several acts of child molestation dating back to the mid-1980s, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.
On Dec. 8, a 15-year-old girl came forward and told her parents and high school officials that she was inappropriately touched on several occasions by Phillips between 2006 and 2014 when she was in the care of Phillips and his wife at their residence.
The first incidents started to occur, detectives say, when the girl was only 4 years old when he showed her a pornographic video. She said that Phillips molested her several times from that point on, throughout the years.
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The girl told detectives that Phillips told her to keep his behavior a secret and “threatened consequences” if she told anyone.
Phillips was arrested in November 2015 after a similar allegation and charged with one count of lewd or lascivious behavior on a victim under 12. Sheriff’s office detectives also connected him with an investigation conducted by the Sarasota Police Department in 2005 with similar allegations of sexual misconduct dating back to the mid-1980s.
On Friday, Phillips was arrested and charged with lewd or lascivious molestation of a victim under 12, lewd or lascivious conduct on a victim under 16, and lewd or lascivious exhibition on a victim under 16.
Because the victims were children who visited Phillips’ home, detectives want parents with children who may know him to be aware of this investigation.
Anyone with information can call the Criminal Investigations Section at the sheriff’s office at (941)-861-4900.
Phillips was released Saturday on $22,500 bond.