2 charged with sexual battery on children in Flagler County
Updated On: Feb 26 2014 11:04:56 AM EST
A man and a woman were arrested Tuesday, accused of sexually abusing multiple children.
WJXT reports William Dillow, 27, of St. Johns County, was arrested at his home on Pacetti Road. Neighbors said they saw a large number of law enforcement officials in tactical gear with assault rifles approach the home around 1:45 p.m.
Dillow was booked into the St. Johns County jail.
Rhonda Wilkerson, 49, of Flagler Beach was later arrested in Flagler County and booked into the Flagler County jail on an out-of-county warrant.
Detectives said they began investigating on Monday when multiple children disclosed sexual abuse to staff members at a Flagler County school involving the two suspects.
"The investigation began when one of the children went to the administration at the school about an unusual occasion that was occurring and about some behavior," said Sgt. Catherine Payne, an investigator with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.
The victims, who were younger than 12 at the time, were also interviewed by child protection team members at an undisclosed location Monday.
Police haven’t said if any relationship exists between these alleged victims and the two accused. But the sheriff's office does say the Department of Children and Families is on the case.
We do not yet know the relationship between the two suspects, but we have obtained several pictures of the two suspects together on their Facebook pages.
"There are multiple children involved in this case," said Payne. "The sheriff's office is going to continue the investigation. At this point of time, it looks like we'll be at one of the residences that we served a search warrant at through the night."
Investigators served a search warrant at the home where Dillow was living. They took him into custody without incident.
Dillow was booked into the St. Johns County jail without bail pending a first appearance hearing Wednesday morning.
Wilkerson was scheduled to be transported to the St. Johns County jail Wednesday.
Court documents from New Jersey show in 2006 that Dillow was convicted of four counts of aggravated assault as well as two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, all on the same day.
WJXT's crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson says he's not surprised Dillow is facing charges again.
"It is not uncommon for a person who has been arrested for a crime against a child - be it sex crime or abuse crime - it is not uncommon for that person to re-offend with the same type of victims," said Jefferson.
Deputies say both suspects are facing capital sexual battery charges. They say it's possible these crimes have been going on for years.
The Department of Children and Families said if anyone suspects a child they know is being abused, call their hotline at 1-800-962-2873.