Saturday, November 25, 2017
Public safety

Clearwater man awaiting molestation trial arrested again

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CLEARWATER — A Clearwater man awaiting trial based on accusations he molested a 7-year-old girl has been arrested for failing to complete sex-offender treatment required as part of his sentencing in a previous case, authorities said.

Henry Cavaliere, 49, was arrested Wednesday night by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office on a charge of violating the terms of his probation in that earlier case. He was booked into the Pinellas County Jail, where he was being held without bail.

This is the sixth time Cavaliere has been arrested in connection with alleged sexual offenses.

Cavaliere is scheduled to go to trial in March on a charge of lewd and lascivious molestation of the 7-year-old. If convicted, he could face life in prison.

At a pretrial hearing last week, a 12-year-old from Palm Harbor testified that Cavaliere had touched her inappropriately while she was sleeping over at his house about five years ago. Two adult women also testified that they had been molested by Cavaliere when they were children in the 1990s.

Cavaliere's arrest this week took those associated with his current case by surprise. Sheriff's Office detectives and prosecutors in the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office said Thursday they had just learned of the probation violation. His defense lawyer, Andrew Crawford of St. Petersburg, declined to comment.

In response to questions from the Tampa Bay Times, Florida Department of Corrections spokeswoman Misty Cash said Cavaliere was arrested for violating his probation because he "failed to pay cost of supervision and failed to successfully complete sex offender aftercare treatment."

Cavaliere has been on probation since March 2011 on multiple charges of possessing obscene materials. The charges were filed after one of his relatives discovered sexual images of children on his computer. He is scheduled to remain on probation until 2017.

In April 2012, Cavaliere was arrested in the molestation case that is soon to go before a jury. He was released on $50,000 bail, however, and had been free as he awaited trial.

After Wednesday's arrest, he is not eligible for bail because he violated his probation.

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