Local News

Accused child molester on trial

— According to an arrest warrant, Clarence Gordon Thorpe’s wife Marsha turned over letters in which he admitted to molesting a 5-year-old girl when he was 46.

A jury was selected on Monday for Thorpe, 60, 1036 Jonquil Ave., who was charged with lewd and lascivious behavior and four counts of sexual battery of a minor. At 4 p.m. Wednesday, that defense was still putting on its case.

In interviews at Polk County Jail, Thorpe said he had used a vibrator and had oral and anal sex with the girl over the years. He videotaped the events with the girl, who is now a teenager, according to the arrest warrant.

However, he told a Highlands County deputy that the sexual acts were at her request. He did not force the girl to do anything, Thorpe stated to Deputy Robert Livesay.

The girl, whom Thorpe claimed was sexually precocious for her age, would enter his room while he was watching pornography and wanted to watch with him.

Assistant District Attorney Richard Castillo is prosecuting, Assistant Public Defender Robert Gray is defending.