Citrus sheriff: Corrections officer sexually abused child for years

A federal corrections officer has been accused of sexually abusing a girl, starting when she was nine years old.

Authorities say the abuse lasted for years. Now they fear there may be more victims.

The Citrus County Sheriff's Office says during a series of interviews with detectives, 41-year-old Kenneth Slanker confessed to abusing the young girl more than 2 dozen times.

Slanker, a federal corrections officer at Coleman Correctional Complex in Sumter County, is now on the other side of the bars.

The sheriff's office said it got a tip late Tuesday night of a sexual battery involving Slanker and a child.

The next day, the victim met with investigators, who say she told them of years of sexual abuse she'd endured at the hands of Slanker.

When detectives approached Slanker, they say he admitted to multiple sex acts involving victim, with the most recent incident happening a few months ago.

Sheriff Mike Prendergast released a statement Friday, saying in part, “Kenneth Slanker is a textbook example of a sexual predator… Slanker employed grooming and intimidation techniques to target his victim.”

Slanker was arrested and charged with sexual battery victim under 12, lewd and lascivious battery, and lewd and lascivious molestation. He's being held on a $250,000-dollar bond.

The sheriff’s office said the alleged offenses happened in multiple counties and investigators believe there could be other victims. Anyone who has information about the case is asked to contact Sgt. Conley at 352-249-2718 or