Man accused of sex with boy decades ago
A 53-year-old Safety Harbor man was arrested Tuesday, accused of sex crimes against a minor nearly 30 years ago. Martin C. Besteman, of 360 Eighth Ave. N, was charged with sexual battery on a child younger than 12. According to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, Besteman admitted to engaging in oral sex with a 9- to 10-year-old boy in June 1980 at Clearwater's Gulf to Bay Drive-In Theater, which no longer exists. Besteman was 24 years old at the time. Besteman also admitted to having oral sex with the boy more than 20 times during a three-to-eight month span around the same time period. It's not clear how the Sheriff's Office learned of the allegations. Besteman is being held without bail in the Pinellas County Jail.
Strip Club owner faces tax charges
The owner of a strip club was arrested for allegedly failing to file state sales tax returns and stealing sales taxes owed to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced Monday. Randolph R. Lanton II, 40, of Clearwater was arrested Monday by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. Lanton operated Fantasy Nude, at 1441 U.S. 19 N. Lanton collected taxes from customers during various periods in 2007 and 2008, but failed to submit tax returns and send to the state all of the sales tax he had collected, according to investigators. They determined that he illegally kept $5,600 in tax money, authorities said. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
Adoptive, foster parents needed
Eckerd Community Alternatives based in Clearwater is in need of both adoptive and foster parents in Pinellas County. Interested individuals, at least 21 years old, must have appropriate housing. There is a required home study course and 36 hours of special training, along with a background screening. For more information, call (727) 456-0637.
Brooker Creek has good book for kids
"Book Time at Brooker Creek" is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. today at Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. The program is designed to connect pre-school children to the wonders of the natural world. The featured book will be The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Registration is required. Call (727) 453-6800.
Giftwrapping benefits lodge
The Daughters of Italy Lodge No. 2825 will hold a giftwrapping fundraiser from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at Books-a-Million Bookstore, 33550 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor. There is no charge for the gift wrapping, however, donations will benefit the organization's charities, including the Daughters of Italy Lodge No. 2825 Scholarship Program. For more information, call Vincenza DiLiberti, (727) 447-6890.