Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Public safety

Judge grants bail to Clearwater man accused of sex abuse

LARGO — A judge granted bail Thursday to Clearwater contractor Henry Cavaliere, who was arrested last week for failing to complete sex-offender treatment required by his conviction two years ago on charges of possessing obscene materials.

But for Cavaliere, who has been arrested six times on charges stemming from alleged sex offenses involving children over the past two decades, release will bring only a short respite from the criminal justice system. In March, the 49-year-old is scheduled to go before a jury for a felony charge of lewd and lascivious molestation.

Authorities say he molested a then 7-year-old girl from Palm Harbor several years ago while she was staying overnight at his house. If convicted, he could receive a life sentence. Despite recurring sex abuse allegations, Cavaliere has never been sent to prison or required to register as a sex offender.

Cavaliere's bail hearing Thursday was the result of an unexpected subplot in the current molestation case. Last week, the Florida Department of Corrections issued an arrest warrant for Cavaliere, stating that he had violated the conditions of his probation for the earlier offense.

Cavaliere has been on probation since 2011 for the obscene-materials charges, which arose after sexual images of children were discovered on his computer. His probation is scheduled to last until 2017. But authorities said he stopped attending sex-offender therapy in June and failed to pay $520 in costs associated with his own supervision by probation officials.

Cavaliere, who just two weeks ago attended a pretrial hearing in his pending molestation case in coat and tie, stood before the judge in blue prisoner's garb Thursday morning.

Probation violators are often kept in jail without the option of posting bail. However, Andrew Crawford, Cavaliere's defense lawyer, told the judge he had only two therapy sessions remaining in his course of treatment. He also noted that Cavaliere, a lifelong resident of Pinellas County, had surrendered his passport to authorities and had voluntarily attended hearings connected to his pending molestation case.

Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Michael Andrews initially signaled he might not look favorably on Cavaliere's bail request, saying he understood prosecutors' argument that Cavaliere had essentially ignored the only hardship imposed by his previous sentence.

Andrews noted the eight months that had passed since Cavaliere stopped attending sex-offender therapy. "That tells me something," the judge said. "If that's true, that tells me that he's willfully not participating in his own counseling."

However, after attorneys consulted with Cavaliere's therapist by phone, Andrews decided that Cavaliere could be released as he awaits trial in his pending case.

The judge ordered Cavaliere to attend an additional six months of therapy once his current course of sex-offender counseling is complete. Cavaliere must also pay $100 for court costs related to his probation violation, Andrews ruled.

Also on Wednesday, Andrews rejected Cavaliere's request for a change of venue because of publicity surrounding his case. The judge said he believed an impartial jury could be empaneled in Pinellas County, but that a venue change could always be ordered later if jury selection showed otherwise.

Peter Jamison can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4157.

Comments
Armed carjacking suspect on the run in Hillsborough

Armed carjacking suspect on the run in Hillsborough

PLANT CITY — Multiple law enforcement agencies are searching for an armed man who may be responsible for a string of Wednesday morning carjackings, including one that involved gunfire, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.The man was...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Trinity teen killed in crash remembered as

Trinity teen killed in crash remembered as "positive" and "smiling"

TRINITY — Friends said they will remember Lillia Morris, who was killed Tuesday in a car crash, as always smiling.Morris, 17, was killed after a 2008 Chevrolet SUV ran a red light and slammed into her car at State Road 54 and Duck Slough Boulevard.Ka...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
UCF student from Hillsborough, one other accused of rape; fraternity suspended

UCF student from Hillsborough, one other accused of rape; fraternity suspended

ORLANDO — A University of Central Florida student from Hillsborough County and a fellow fraternity member face charges after they were accused of raping a woman at a party.That fraternity has since been placed on interim suspension.Orange County Sher...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Two hospitalized after crash on Bayside Bridge

Two hospitalized after crash on Bayside Bridge

CLEARWATER — Two Brandon men were hospitalized Tuesday night after they lost control of their car and crashed into trees on the south end of the Bayside Bridge, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.At 8:15 p.m., 19-year-old Coi Jenkins was driving...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Memorials, crisis counselors at Lakewood, day after student dies in crash

Memorials, crisis counselors at Lakewood, day after student dies in crash

ST. PETERSBURG — Memorials are building and crisis counselors were at Lakewood High School on Wednesday morning, a day after a student was killed and two others seriously injured in a crash Tuesday afternoon.The fatal crash occurred just before 2 p.m...
Updated: 4 hours ago
He spent 17 years in prison. Now he’s a free man.

He spent 17 years in prison. Now he’s a free man.

TAMPA — Dwight DuBose walked out of the Orient Road Jail on Tuesday night after trading an orange jumpsuit for a brand new polo shirt and slacks. It was about 9 p.m. He flashed a broad smile and hugged staff members of the Innocence Project of...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Pasco teen killed after SUV runs red light; man who fled scene captured

Pasco teen killed after SUV runs red light; man who fled scene captured

NEW PORT RICHEY — A 17-year-old girl was killed Tuesday when her car was hit by a sport-utility vehicle that ran a red light, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.One of the occupants of the SUV who ran from the crash scene was captured hours late...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Days before graduation, crash kills Lakewood High senior, injures two others

Days before graduation, crash kills Lakewood High senior, injures two others

ST. PETERSBURG — Caps and gowns were in the future for Bryson Welton-Williams and his two friends.Then came Tuesday’s horrific car crash.The three 18-year-old Lakewood High School seniors drove off from school a few minutes early, just 22 days away f...
Updated: 8 hours ago
He tried to rob two pharmacies. Both times he left empty-handed.

He tried to rob two pharmacies. Both times he left empty-handed.

TAMPA — Police are looking for a man who failed to rob two pharmacies last week.No one was harmed during the botched heists, but the man may be armed with a handgun, police said.Detectives on Tuesday released surveillance video that showed the man in...
Published: 04/24/18
FHP: Riverview motorcyclist critically injured in crash on I-4

FHP: Riverview motorcyclist critically injured in crash on I-4

TAMPA — A 41-year-old motorcyclist was critically injured in a Monday night crash on Interstate 4, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The crash took place at about 7:15 p.m. Cristobal Padilla, of Riverview, was riding a 2004 Suzuki motorcycle in...
Published: 04/24/18