Sumter County corrections officer charged with sexual battery of a juvenile

Kenneth Slanker

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) announced on Friday the arrest of an Inverness man who was also a Sumter County corrections officer at the Coleman Correctional Complex.

Kenneth Slanker, 41, faces charges related to the alleged sexual battery of a juvenile victim.

The CCSO said that the arrest on Wednesday followed an initial investigation that uncovered the alleged incident.

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) arrested 41-year-old Kenneth Slanker of Inverness after an initial investigation revealed that he sexually battered a juvenile victim.

Initial information regarding the sexual battery was reported late Tuesday night, Feb. 5. An interview with the victim was conducted the following day, where she disclosed years of sexual abuse by Slanker. The victim informed detectives that the earliest incident of sexual abuse had occurred when she was less than 10 years old.

With the information gathered, detectives began to build a case against Slanker, the Sheriff’s Office said. During his interview with detectives, Slanker confessed to approximately 25 instances where he sexually abused the victim, the Sheriff’s Office said. He admitted that the first instance was when the victim was about nine years old and went on for several years, with the most recent time being just a few months ago.  He confessed to multiple sex acts involving the victim, with incidents occurring in Citrus County, Lake County and Broward County.

“Kenneth Slanker is a textbook example of a sexual predator. He betrayed, manipulated and victimized this innocent child,” said Sheriff Mike Prendergast. “We will work diligently with the State Attorney’s Office to build a concrete case against Slanker and obtain justice for our victim. If you are the victim of a sex offense, we are here to help you. You are not alone and do not have to suffer in silence.”

Slanker employed grooming and intimidation techniques to target his victim in this case. The Sheriff’s Office said. He knew, based on his manipulation of the victim, the chances of her disclosing the abuse was low. Slanker was arrested and charged with Sexual Battery Victim under 12, Lewd and Lascivious Battery and Lewd and Lascivious Molestation. A $250,000 bond was set by Judge Thompson at first appearance.

“This investigation is ongoing, as the offenses are spread out across multiple counties, and we believe there may possibly be more victims,” a statement from the CCSO said. If you have any information pertaining to this investigation, or if you or someone you know is a victim, please contact Sgt. Conley at (352) 249-2718 or via email at sconley@sheriffcitrus.org.”

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