Charlotte County detectives believe there could be more victims of a registered sexual predator who is accused of squeezing a girl’s bottom at a local swimming pool and asking her for a kiss. The sex predator was previously convicted of child sex crimes in Hillsborough County.
Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the Ann Dever Regional Park swimming pool on Thursday after a parent complained about sex predator Timothy Rice, 41. The parent told the pool’s aquatics coordinator that her daughter was touched by a man at the pool on Wednesday, March 20.
The parent told the aquatics coordinator that she had identified the man as Timothy Rice by his FDLE Sexual Offender flyer. The parent and her daughter were not at the pool when deputies responded. Timothy Rice was not there either, according to deputies.
A detective learned that Rice was a martial arts instructor and a lifeguard in 1998 when he was convicted of molesting several girls at an apartment complex swimming pool in Hillsborough County. The detective also learned that there were complaints in North Florida about Rice “watching kids” at two different state parks.
On Friday, March 22, deputies and the detective responded to the Ann Dever Regional Park swimming pool. The lifeguard on duty told deputies Rice had been visiting the pool over the last two weeks and had brought toys like squirt guns. The lifeguard said Rice would only play with children while at the pool. The lifeguard told deputies a parent told him that Rice squeezed her daughter’s butt and asked her for a kiss.
While at the pool, another parent told deputies that Rice had grabbed her daughter’s thigh while they were in the water.
The detective who responded to the pool determined that Rice was actively prowling for a child victim. He was arrested at the pool and charged with Loitering and Prowling by Certain Offenders in Close Proximity to Children.
Detectives believe Rice may have interacted with children at the Ann Dever Regional Park swimming pool and/or other locations. Anyone with information is asked to contact Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office Detective John Sadler at 941-258-3900 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.