A reality television star known for flipping houses has turned himself in after police issued a warrant for his arrest. He has been charged with fourth-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a child after allegedly fondling a 10-year-old girl while she slept in her room.
Reality tv star Christopher Dionne, a 36-year-old from Old Lyme, Ct., turned himself in on Monday. He was filming A&E’s forthcoming show “House Rescue,” and was featured in a pilot episode of HGTV’s “Family Flip” that premiered more than two years ago.
Police said they received a tip from the victim’s mother on November 27. She reported a possible sexual assault of her 10-year-old daughter she claimed happened the day before, when her daughter was sleeping over at her best friend’s house as part of her birthday party, local news channel Fox 61 reported.
Dionne allegedly touched the girl’s chest while she slept and took pictures while holding her shirt up for hours.
“The victim reported to the complainant that Dionne would leave the room and then come back and start again,” the warrant reported. “This supposedly lasted a couple of hours.”
Dionne’s own children, his 10-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son, were sleeping in the room while the incident happened, according to police. Dionne reportedly told the victim not to tell anyone.
The arrest warrant also alleged that Dionne asked the victim if she wanted to see his penis and she said, “No.” To this, he allegedly responded, “When you have sex for the first time, can you tell me.”
Police further reported that the victim told a doctor about a similar incident in September, when Dionne allegedly had an inappropriate conversation with her.
Dionne denied the allegations, telling police he knew the incident they referred to. According to his version of events, the victim put her hand on his stomach and began rubbing, and he said he told her it was inappropriate.
According to the arrest warrant, the actor told police he had a relationship with the girl’s mother when he and his wife had a rough spot a few years ago, but it never became physically sexual.
The allegations came while the actor was filming “House Rescue” for A&E. “In light of the allegations which just came to light, we are suspending production on the series,” Dan Silberman, senior vice president of communications for A&E and HISTORY, said in a statement.
HGTV also released a statement on Dionne’s arrest. “The person you reference in your inquiry appeared in a pilot that premiered on our network more than 2-1/2 years ago. The pilot was not picked up for series and is no longer on our air,” the network stated.
Dionne has no previous criminal record, police said.