Former Thomas Co. Sheriff's Employee Accused In Child Sex Abuse Case

Richard Vanderhoff
Posted at 6:32 PM, Apr 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-30 06:52:00-04

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WTXL)-- A former Thomas County Sheriff's Office employee is accused in a child sex abuse case dating back to the 1970's.

Police in St. Petersburg say 72-year-old Richard Vanderhoff abused the two children when they were around the ages three and five in the 1970's. They say it went on for several years.

Last year, Police say one of the victims sent a letter to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office about the abuse, and the sheriff's office then sent it to the police department since it happened in their jurisdiction.

Through their investigation, officers tracked down a handwritten report from decades ago where the two children were brought in to make a complaint, but never came back.

There were other witnesses involved in the case, and detectives were able to corroborate the stories. Now they're able to charge Vanderhoff.

Police expect to have him in Pinellas County by the end of the week. He's going to be charged with statutes from the 1970's including rape and forcible carnal knowledge and capital sexual battery.

If convicted, police say he could get life in prison.

Police say he worked at the Thomas County Sheriff's Office from January of 1995 to March of 2000.