Man sentenced to 920 years on sex charges

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Charles Dipilla of Crystal River (CCSO mujshot)

A 41-year-old Crystal River man was sentenced on Thursday to 9200 years in prison on multiple sexual-related charges

Charles Dipilla of Crystal River was arrested in 2019 by the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) after a juvenile victim disclosed they had been sexually assaulted.

Detective Jonathan Richey with the CCSO Special Victim’s Unit (SVU), was assigned to investigate the allegations which were reported to the CCSO in early October. During Detective Richey’s investigation, he was able to obtain enough evidence to arrest Dipilla the same day.

An intensive follow-up investigation was conducted by Detective Richey in cooperation with the Child Protection Team and the State Attorney’s Office in order to obtain further evidence to support the victim’s allegations.

During such, Detective Richey was able to identify three additional juvenile victims who also alleged sexual abuse by Dipilla.  Based on this new information, Detective Richey developed probable cause and rearrested Dipilla on Nov. 4, 2019, on multiple charges related to the new victims while he was still in custody from his October arrest.

During his court hearing on Thursday, Dipilla was found guilty on two counts of Lewd and Lascivious Molestation of a Child Under 12, two counts of Sexual Battery of a Child Over 12, two counts of Lewd and Lascivious Molestation of a Victim under 16, and two counts of Showing Obscene Material to a Minor.

Judge Howard sentenced Dipilla to four 40-year sentences, two 15-year sentences and two five-year sentences, to be served concurrently.

“The victims in this case showed great bravery in coming forward about their abuse,” Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast said. “Because of their courage, and the unwavering dedication of the professionals here at the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, Jessie’s Place and the State Attorney’s Office, another dangerous predator has been taken off of the streets of Citrus County.

“I hope these brave victims will serve as an example for anyone else dealing with this type of horrific abuse and show them that it is safe for them to speak up and tell someone. This one victim helped end the suffering of three others,” Sheriff Prendergast said.