CLEARWATER – A transient was arrested in Clearwater about 5:30 p.m. Feb. 22 for three counts of sexual battery upon children under age 12 and one count of lewd and lascivious molestation on a child under age 12.
All the victims were known to the suspect, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Detectives assigned to the Crimes Against Children Unit say one of the victims told his mother that he had been sexually battered by William E. Roberts, 42, from the time he was six. The battery continued until the child was 16. The teen reported told his mother he was concerned about the safety of other children, who also were in contact with Roberts.
The woman confronted each of the other children independently and each reportedly said they had been sexually battered by the suspect. She reported the crime to the Sheriff’s Office on Feb. 16.
Crimes Against Children Unit began investigating the allegations, and detectives determined that a total of four children had been sexually battered or molested on an ongoing basis.
Detectives received information that Roberts, who is a truck driver, would be returning to the area Feb. 21 and arrested him in Clearwater with the assistance of the Sheriff’s Violent Crimes Task Force. Roberts is being held without bond in the Pinellas County Jail.
Detectives have some concerns that there may be other victims. They ask anyone with information that may assist in this case to contact Sgt. Kurt Romanosky of the Crimes Against Children Unit at 582-6200; or to remain anonymous contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS.