Man facing multiple sex abuse with minor charges
WEST DOVER- A 75-year-old West Dover man is facing multiple child sex abuse charges following an investigation by Dover Police.
Route 100 resident Clifford Turpin was charged with repeated aggravated assault, sexual assault of a child under the age of 16, lewd and lascivious conduct with a child, and showing indecent material to a minor. If convicted of the aggravated sexual assault charge, Turpin faces 10 years to life in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.
According to an affidavit by Dover Police Detective Rebecca Morris, police were contacted by a Department of Children and Families case worker in April after a client reported seeing Turpin assaulting one of the victims during a visit to Turpin's house in late 2017.
During an initial interview with Morris outside of the home, the alleged victim didn't disclose any abuse. During a separate interview of Turpin, according to the affidavit, he wasn't agitated and appeared calm when confronted with her questions. “During the interview (Turpin) told (the case worker) and me that he had a computer in his bedroom and one time (the alleged victim) caught him watching pornography. The defendant said he told the (alleged victim) that he shouldn't be watching porn and that was the end of it.”
Following the first two interviews, Morris interviewed the witness who initially reported the incident, and followed up with another interview in early May. The witness, who is an adult, swore his statements were true at both interviews. He said he had stayed at Turpin's house over a weekend when the incident occurred.
During the second interview, the witness told Morris he was in Turpin's bedroom when Turpin allegedly showed a pornographic video, discussed sex, and assaulted one of the victims while the witness was in the room.
During a subsequent interview with Turpin on Thursday, May 17, according to the affidavit, he admitted to showering with the alleged victim when he was 16, and that they touched each other's penises. He also admitted to a second incident when the victim was 16. Turpin also mentioned the incident reported by the witness, but claimed the witness “was confused about what he saw.”
The same day, the alleged victim gave a statement to Dover Detective Richard Werner in which he said Turpin had been assaulting him about twice a month since he was 13, but had stopped recently. The incidents occurred when Turpin's husband was at work, the alleged victim said, and Turpin had told him not to tell anyone or he could be removed from the house. He also told Werner that another youth in the house had been assaulted by Turpin, as well as assaults on a third alleged victim “two or three years ago.”
Also on Thursday, May 17, Dover and Wilmington police executed a search warrant at Turpin's Route 100 house, during which they seized several electronic devices, “numerous sex toys,” and other items related to the investigation.
Turpin was ordered held on $2,500 bond after arraignment on Friday, May 18. He was also ordered not to have contact with the alleged victims or any other minors.
According to police, Turpin and his husband fostered several children in their home until 2015 .