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Palm Harbor man accused of sexual battery on a 9-year-old

PALM HARBOR — A 59-year-old Palm Harbor man was arrested Thursday, accused of sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl.

Jerry Wayne Hemphill, of 920 19th St., was charged with capital sexual battery on a child under the age of 12. He is being held without bail in the Pinellas County Jail.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, Hemphill touched the girl in an inappropriate sexual manner on Jan. 9 at his home while she was in his care.

The Sheriff's Office did not disclose how Hemphill knew the girl.

The child eventually told a close family friend about the incident. The friend told the girl's parents, who reported it to authorities.

Detectives with the Sheriff's Office Crimes Against Children Unit began investigating the allegation on Jan. 26.

Hemphill was arrested around 7:30 a.m. Thursday as he was leaving his home.

While being interviewed by detectives, Hemphill admitted the crime, the Sheriff's Office said.

Palm Harbor man accused of sexual battery on a 9-year-old 02/04/10 [Last modified: Thursday, February 4, 2010 6:37pm]
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