Lt. accused of child molestation resigns from Manatee Sheriff's Office

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MANATEE COUNTY - A Manatee County Sheriff’s lieutenant has resigned after being charged with Lewd and Lascivious Molestation on a Child.

The letter of resignation, dated May 23, was sent to Sheriff Stube of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office did not receive the letter until today.

In the letter he writes: “This letter is to inform you that I, Lt. Dale A. Couch, am resigning for personal reasons from my position as a deputy sheriff with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, effective immediately.”

On July 25, 2012, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office received information of alleged criminal acts of inappropriate touching of a juvenile against 50-year-old Lt. Dale Couch.

After a lengthy investigation by the sheriff’s office and the State Attorney’s Office, the S.A.O. decided not to charge Couch.

Couch was on routine suspension and returned to work when the investigation was completed.

According to the December 2012 State Attorney's report that cleared Couch of any wrongdoing, the children involved are two girls, ages 9 and 12. They are believed to be sisters. We still arent 100 % certain if those girls are related to Couch.

On March 25, 2013, the sheriff’s office received additional information in connection with the case. The investigation was re-opened and once again forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office, who decided charges would be filed.

Couch was arrested and charged with 3 counts of Lewd and Lascivious Molestation on a Child.