Twice Detective George Loydgren reached a dead-end with his suspect and left the interview room.
Each time he returned, he put more pressure on Robert Wilcox to tell the truth, according to Hernando County Sheriff's reports.
After a contrite Wilcox broke down, he was arrested on a charge of lewd and lascivious molestation on a child younger than 12 years old, deputies said.
The victim in the case is 9 years old, according to the sheriff's office.
A woman reported the allegations to authorities seven months ago and the girl was interviewed May 1. The abuse began when the girl was 7 years old, detectives said.
Wilcox, 68, of Spring Hill, was booked June 14 at the Hernando County Jail. He was released that night after posting bail, which was set at $15,000.
The suspect agreed to drive to the sheriff's office that day to speak with Loydgren. He was read his Miranda rights and the interview lasted about one hour and 40 minutes, according to reports.
During the early part of the interview, Wilcox said someone was framing him. He also said if he ever touched the girl, it was by accident.
"Robert said (the girl) always slept on his lap and he would tickle her and maybe she thinks he did something he shouldn't have done," Loydgren wrote in his report.
Moments after Wilcox offered that explanation, Loydgren left the room for the first time.
He left again after Wilcox told him he once tickled the girl and might have touched her in a private area unintentionally, according to a sheriff's report.
Wilcox also told him he had never shown the girl online pornography, but said he once caught her looking at an adult website, Loydgren wrote.
When the detective came back the second time, he turned up the heat.
"After re-entering the room I explained to Robert I wanted the truth from him," Loydgren stated.
Moments later, Wilcox said he touched the girl once "out of sexual curiosity and wanted to see her reaction," according to Loydgren's report.
Wilcox agreed to write an apology letter to the girl, which stated, "I am sorry about this. I did not do this to hurt you. I did not think when I touched you."
Other allegations were made known to Loydgren during the investigation, according to the sheriff's office.
Wilcox was accused of purchasing bras for the girl for the purpose of making her chest "look bigger than they are," one witness wrote in a sworn statement signed Dec. 14, 2011.
The same accuser also told detectives Wilcox once asked to assist the victim with putting on her swimsuit and on another occasion applied medicinal cream to a sensitive area of the victim's body, according to sheriff's reports.
Loydgren said he acquired copies of conversations the suspect had with the girl via Facebook. During one conversation, Wilcox sent a photograph of the girl in the swimming pool with a typed message that read, "You look good wet," according to the detective's report.
Wilcox was first interviewed about the case Feb. 24, at which time he denied all charges. During the next few months, more allegations were made and the suspect was brought in again for further questioning, Loydgren said.