62-year-old man accused of molesting 14-year-old Merced girl, police say

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A 62-year-old man has been arrested for sexually molesting a Merced teen for more than year.

When police arrested 62-year-old Robert Dingman in his Modesto home this weekend, they say they found computer evidence that leads them to believe there could be other victims he preyed upon on the internet.

It started off seemingly innocent, a 14-year-old Merced girl had made a new friend on social media.
But little did she know, this internet predator wasn't looking for a friend.

"At one point they actually agreed to meet with each other with her being 14-years-old at the time she was still at the age where she could not even drive a car. So he came from Modesto to Merced and picked her up," said Merced Police Department Lt. Matt Williams.

In the more than 30 times he and the teen would meet, the two would engage in devious sexual activity. Dingman would take the teen to Merced motels. Police said the teen went willingly and he would bring sex toys and bondage paraphernalia.

"Most people would not consider his behavior to be normal in the normal realm of sexual relations with people of consenting age. let alone with a minor," said Williams.

Merced police said they discovered the relationship when a school resource officer was investigating a different case. The young girl eventually confessed when she says Dingman started threatening other people she was involved with. But the shocking part for investigators? The teen is a standout student whose parents had no idea she was using the internet for sex.

"We're talking about a smart kid, this is not somebody from a broken home. This is not a situation when everybody in the family is strung out on drugs. We're talking about an everyday normal kid," said Williams.

Dingman was arrested and charged this weekend and investigators say they found more evidence in his home. That lead them to believe he had relationships with other young women.

If you or someone you know could've been victimized by this man you're urged to call the Merced Police Department.

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