Man accused of sexually abusing children in Venice more than 10 years ago caught by task force

Man accused of sexually abusing children in Venice more than 10 years ago caught by task force
Phillip Lindner (Source: Sarasota County Sheriff's Office)

SARASOTA (WWSB) - The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office worked with U.S. Marshals to take a man into custody who they say sexually abused children around a decade ago.

Phillip Lindner, 42, of Port Charlotte was taken into custody Wednesday morning. He’s charged with two counts of sexual battery on a child.

Deputies say they first heard about Lindner in October 2010, when an alleged victim came to Venice Police to report she had been sexually abused by Lindner. But the case did not move forward because deputies say the alleged victim was not emotionally prepared to discuss the sexual abuse.

It wouldn’t be until August 2018 until two alleged victims came forward again, this time to the sheriff’s office. One told deputies that Lindner reached out to her on Facebook, apologized for what happened and asked to reconnect. She told deputies she was fearful that Lindner would continue to try to reach her.

Deputies say their investigation found four victims in total, all of whom were intimidated to not tell anyone about the abuse.

The victims provided statements to the sheriff’s office and those statements combined with documents from the 2010 case and copies of the messages sent by Lindner led to him being charged with two counts of sexual battery on a child.

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