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Man accused of sex with minor

Tony Holt Hernando Today
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 05:19 PM

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Clues about a criminal romance were in plain sight five weeks ago at the beach when one started rubbing suntan lotion on the other, according to reports.

Later that day the couple pulled weeds at an elderly woman's house, had sex in the homeowner's bathroom and showered together, deputies said.

A physical relationship between the two had been going on for about a year up to that point, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

After the allegations came to light, Shannon Trusty was arrested on multiple sex charges. He is 40 and the accuser is 16. Deputies said the girl was 15 when the affair began.

The sheriff's office started an investigation after the girl told detectives about her routine encounters with Trusty, authorities said.

The suspect was arrested July 7. His charges include four counts of sexual activity with a minor and two counts of lewd and lascivious behavior. He was arrested one day after the couple had their last sexual encounter, according to the sheriff's office.

Detectives worked the case for another month before closing it and releasing the reports to the media. Trusty was arraigned July 31 and his next court date is scheduled for Aug. 30.

He remains behind bars on $50,000 bond, according to jail records.

Detectives said the girl told them she and Trusty had been "sexually active" since June 2011. At one point during their relationship, they lived under the same roof for about five months, at which time the two had sex about four times per day, one deputy wrote in his report.

The girl said during her interview she had seen Trusty less frequently during the past month because he had been wishing to reconcile with his ex-wife, who lives in Pennsylvania with the couple's children, according to the sheriff's office.

Nonetheless, the two had gone to the beach that morning and later to the house of a woman who had hired them in the past to do landscaping work on her property, deputies said.

With the woman's permission, the two took a shower together at the house, but not until after they had sex in the bathroom, according to sheriff's reports.

Deputies said they were called to the house and met with the accuser. Trusty was not there by the time they arrived. The reports did not disclose who called the sheriff's office.

The girl made several accusations during her discussions with deputies, according to reports.

She said Trusty was high on K2 or "Spice" — a synthetic marijuana — and had struck her twice in the face with a closed fist while they were at the beach, detectives said.

Her interview took place the same day the couple had gone to Pine Island and deputies said they saw no marks or injuries on the girl's face. Trusty was never charged with battery.

After the interview, detectives set up a series of recorded calls between Trusty and the girl, during which the suspect admitted several times to having sex with her and propositioned her to have "three-way" sex with him and somebody else, according to reports.

Detectives said the girl estimated she and Trusty had had sex more than 300 times. The first time took place behind a church, she said.

As part of the investigation, detectives interviewed one of the girl's relatives. She told them she was unaware of the accuser's relationship with Trusty and thought because he was such a close family friend, she had no objections or suspicions about Trusty and the girl going to Pine Island together, authorities said.

On July 7, Trusty was interviewed by detectives. Authorities said he waived his Miranda rights and the interview lasted for about one hour and 20 minutes.

He gave a series of denials and said the girl was in love with him and was bitter about him trying to mend his relationship with his ex, but by the end of the interview, he admitted he had been dating the underage girl, according to the sheriff's office.

Trusty has been arrested multiple times since December 2009, including a few times by the Brooksville Police Department.

His charges have included resisting arrest, possession of marijuana and violation of probation.

He was arrested in May after punching a window along West Jefferson Street, according to news reports. Trusty was riding his bicycle with a girl — whom he identified as his niece — when he rode over a retention wall and crashed, police said.

In a fit of rage, he punched the window of a nearby business, which caused a serious injury to his arm that required emergency surgery. He was charged with criminal mischief, pleaded no contest and served three days in jail.

Two months later he was arrested in Brooksville on a charge of giving a false name to law enforcement. He pleaded guilty to that charge and served one day in jail.

"He's definitely been showing up on our radar," said Brooksville Police Chief George Turner. "He's regularly putting himself in a position to be arrested." (352) 544-5283

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