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St. Petersburg man accused of sex with boy who did yard work

ST. PETERSBURG — Police on Friday arrested a 71-year-old man accused of engaging in sexual activities with a minor for several years.

Richard Thomas O'Toole faces charges of lewd and lascivious battery and unlawful sexual activity with a minor. He was being held at the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $200,000 Saturday night.

According to an arrest affidavit, O'Toole engaged in oral sex with a boy between July 2004 and June 2008. The boy, who is not being identified, was between 13 and 17 years old at the time and had done yard work for O'Toole, the report said.

This is not the first time allegations have been made about O'Toole. In 1997, O'Toole pleaded no contest to simple battery after being arrested for showing a boy a pornographic film and then grabbing the boy in a sexual manner. Adjudication was withheld.

In April 2008, a former youth group leader at First Unity Church, where O'Toole used to be a board member, filed a lawsuit saying church officials brushed off concerns about O'Toole, who was believed to have made sexual advances toward young men at the church.

A month earlier, in March 2008, police had arrested O'Toole on several charges of unlicensed practice of a health care profession after police said he passed himself off as a mental health counselor and hypnosis lecturer. Police said their investigation began after a 17-year-old boy said O'Toole, claiming to be a doctor, asked him to pull out his penis. A trial for that case is set to begin Tuesday, records show.

St. Petersburg man accused of sex with boy who did yard work 04/24/10 [Last modified: Saturday, April 24, 2010 11:18pm]

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