Deputies: Pasco man, 59, sexually abused girl for more than a year

The girl told an adult that the Hudson resident abused her from the summer of 2017 to the fall of 2018, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
Merle Rush, 59, of Hudson faces charges of lewd and lascivious molestation of a victim under the age of 12 and sexual battery on a victim under the age of 12 whom he had custodial authority over. [Pasco County Sheriff’s Office]
Merle Rush, 59, of Hudson faces charges of lewd and lascivious molestation of a victim under the age of 12 and sexual battery on a victim under the age of 12 whom he had custodial authority over. [Pasco County Sheriff’s Office]
Published February 11
Updated February 11

HUDSON — A 59-year-old man was arrested Friday on charges that he sexually abused a 10-year-old girl for more than a year, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.

Merle Rush of Hudson faces two charges: sexual battery on a victim under the age of 12 over whom he had custodial authority over, and lewd and lascivious molestation of a victim under the age of 12.

The girl, now 11, described to an adult on Jan. 28 how Rush sexually abused her between the summer of 2017 and fall 2018, deputies said. The girl also told her mother that Rush showed her pornography on a number of occasions, deputies said.

Deputies interviewed Rush on Friday, and said he admitted to abusing the girl, according to an arrest report.

He was booked into the Pasco County jail, where he was being held Monday in lieu of $150,000 bail.

Contact Justin Trombly at jtrombly@tampabay.com. Follow @JustinTrombly.

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