Deputies: Man sexually battered children years ago

Published On: Dec 21 2012 03:02:54 PM EST
Updated On: Dec 21 2012 03:04:08 PM EST
Thomas Underwood

Flagler County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Thomas Underwood

PALM COAST, Fla. -

A 31-year-old Palm Coast man is facing five counts of sexual battery on a child younger than 12 and three counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child younger than 12.

Thomas Underwood was arrested Thursday afternoon at his home.

Flagler County detectives said Underwood began molesting his victims more than 16 years ago. They said some of the victims, who were 8 and 10 years old at the time, are now coming forward to report being victimized by a younger Underwood.

One victim, who was 8 at the time, said that Underwood, who was then 15, sexually molested her while he was babysitting her, according to detectives. Her story is similar to the other victims, who said Underwood managed to be alone with them while they were being babysat or while they were mutually visiting at someone's home. The victims were male and female.

One victim, who is now 22 years old, said that he was 10 years old when he was sexually abused by Underwood, according to detectives. The victim estimated that he was abused between 200 and 300 times over several years. The abuse occurred while Underwood was babysitting him, detectives said.

Underwood is being held in the Flagler County Inmate Facility without bail.

Detectives think there may be more victims.

Anyone who thinks they may have been victimized by Underwood is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 386-313-4911.

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