The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a man accused of sexually battering two juvenile victims.
On November 14, detectives were contacted by the mother of a juvenile female. She was alerted by another parent that her daughter told a friend she had been touched inappropriately by Thomas Ryder, 57, while at his home located at 5613 Fulmar Drive in Carrollwood. Ryder often served as a babysitter for the juvenile.
While interviewing the juvenile, detectives learned that Ryder had touched her inappropriately and taken nude photographs of her on multiple occasions over the course of two years. During the investigation, detectives learned that a friend of the juvenile, who had also spent time at Ryder’s home, claimed he had touched her inappropriately as well, taken nude photos, and sexually battered her on multiple occasions. The juvenile victims are under the age of 15.
On November 19, a court-authorized search warrant was executed at Ryder’s home. Post-Miranda, Ryder admitted to the sexual battery allegations. He was arrested and charged with sexual battery, lewd and lascivious molestation (2 counts), and lewd and lascivious molestation on a victim under the age of 12.
Ryder’s booking photo is included below.
“It is shameful that someone entrusted with the care of children violated their trust and the trust of their parents by committing such obscene and despicable acts,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “We are thankful that the juveniles involved had the courage to say something. I encourage any juvenile who is being taken advantage of to find an adult or a friend they can confide in and speak up. If you suspect a child is being abused, you can call the Florida DCF Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-962-2873 and file a report anonymously.”