Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Man Faces Trial after Toddler Is Molested

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Man Faces Trial after Toddler Is Molested

Article excerpt

JURY SELECTION: Anthony Hanifan of North Port is charged with 9 sex offenses

SARASOTA

A jury was selected Monday for the trial of a North Port man accused of taking photos of himself molesting a 2-year-old girl.

Anthony Hanifan, 38, was arrested last August after his phone number was linked to a Massachusetts child pornography case by a man he had allegedly sent images to.

Hanifan faces charges on nine felony sex offenses, including transmitting child pornography, sexual assault on a child, lewd and lascivious behavior against a child and cruelty toward a child.

Opening statements in the trial are scheduled to start this morning.

Massachusetts State Police initially contacted the North Port Police Department in October 2011, after a child pornography investigation led to the arrest of Jason Clark, who had deleted three to five explicit photos of a child sent from a North Port phone number.

Clark had the phone number saved only as "Florida 3Y."

He told police that the man linked to the number said he had "done more" with the child when she was younger, but was concerned that she was getting old enough to reveal what he was doing. …

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