Manatee man convicted of sexual battery on 14-year-old

Bruce Wilmeth
Bruce Wilmeth(Manatee County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 1:19 PM EDT
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BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - A 39-year-old Manatee County man was convicted Monday in Manatee County Court of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl in 2021, impregnating her and fleeing when her family found out.

Bruce Wilmeth was immediately sentenced to 30 years in prison and lifetime probation afterward. Wilmeth could have been sentenced to life.

Wimeth was convicted of sexual battery upon a person 12 or older but less than 18 by a person in familial/custodial authority; and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The 14-year-old victim and her siblings had just regained contact with her mother when the abuse of the victim began, prosecutors said.

As a result of the abuse, the child became pregnant, and the abuse was discovered. When confronted, the defendant fled authorities and was eventually captured through coordinated efforts by Manatee County Sheriff’s Office detectives and adjacent assisting law enforcement agencies.

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