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Warrant issued for accused child molester

BRADENTON — A manhunt is on for a Bradenton man who failed to appear in court for his capital sexual battery trial this week.

Authorities are searching for Kyle Wortman, 28, who prosecutors say molested a 5-year-old girl in late 2006.

Circuit Judge Debra Riva on Wednesday issued a bench warrant for Wortman’s arrest after he failed to show up at the Manatee County Judicial Center on charges of false imprisonment and sexual battery.

Wortman, of the 2400 block of Bayshore Garden Parkway, allegedly molested the girl, who had been a friend of the family. He allegedly took the girl to a store Dec. 30, 2006, but did not return with her.

Prosecutors say that three hours after they left for the store, the girl was dropped off in the street near her Bradenton home. The girl told family members that Wortman molested her, prosecutors said.

He faces a life prison sentence if he is convicted of the crimes, Assistant State Attorney Jeff Quisenberry said Thursday.

Anyone with information is asked to call their local police department or the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office at (941) 747-3011.