NEW PORT RICHEY — When deputies executed a search warrant at the home of a man accused of having 337 images of child pornography, they found him still lying in bed. Beside him, a 5-year-old girl slept.
Detectives called the girl's caregiver, Crystal Lynn Hodgson, 26, who told them she brought the girl to stay with Clarence Dingler last year. Between March and April, reports state the girl said, Dingler sexually molested her. An 11-year-old boy was also found in the home, though detectives do not suspect he was abused.
According to reports, Hodgson told deputies she knew about the molestation last year and that Dingler was a registered sex offender. She didn't tell authorities because her boyfriend, Gary Horsley, had a warrant out for his arrest on unrelated charges. She didn't want to draw attention from deputies.
Hodgson knows Dingler's brother, who also lives at the home, 6511 Santee Court. On Tuesday, the report states Dingler told deputies, Hodgson sent the girl to stay at the home. That deputies happened to be executing a search warrant the next morning was coincidence, said sheriff's spokeswoman Melanie Snow.
Dingler was arrested on five counts of promoting a sexual performance by a minor and 10 counts of possession of child pornography. After the investigation, he had an added charge of lewd and lascivious molestation. He remained in the Land O'Lakes jail Friday in lieu of $160,000 bail.
Hodgson, of 9345 Loras St., was charged with child neglect, failing to report child abuse and marijuana possession after, reports state, deputies found a bag of marijuana on her during a search on scene. She has since been released from jail on $10,150 bail.
Detectives went to question Horsley at the Bradford County jail, where he is being held on unrelated fraud charges. He was to be released March 26. Snow said Horsley indicated he, too, knew about the molestation and is expected to face charges similar to Hodgson's in Pasco County.
The children were taken into custody by Child Protective Services.