Wednesday, January 10, 2001

Police: Man targeted boys via mothers

By Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        WEST CHESTER TWP. — Police have arrested a Florida man who they say has a history of moving in with women raising young boys and then raping their children.

        West Chester Police said Tuesday that 26-year-old Richard Joseph Dinola has been charged in the rape of a boy who is the son of a woman Mr. Dinola had recently moved in with.

        Police said that earlier this week the 7-year-old boy told his mother about the sexual attack, which he said occurred Dec. 22. The boy's mother then contacted West Chester Police, who obtained a warrant to search her home and Mr. Dinola's car.

        West Chester Police Sgt. Matt Brillhart said a video found in Mr. Dinola's possession will be a key piece of evidence in the case, but he declined to release further details.

        Because of the nature of the allegations, the Enquirer is not naming the mother or son.

        Sgt. Brillhart said Mr. Dinola is also wanted by police in Ocala, Fla., in connection with the rape of a 10-year-old boy there.

        “We believe he was targeting the boys through their mothers. He would see a woman for a little while and then move in with them,” Sgt. Brillhart said.

        He said that there are no indications that Mr. Dinola has attacked any other Greater Cincinnati boys but that he may be a suspect in similar attacks in other states besides Florida.

        Mr. Dinola remains in the Butler County Jail; his case is scheduled to go to a grand jury early next week.


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