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Wilson man facing felony charges for two counts of lewd acts to minors

Sierra Rains
srains@ardmoreite.com
Dale Kroth

A Wilson man arrested earlier this week on suspicion of child sexual abuse is now facing felony charges for two counts of lewd or indecent acts to a child under 16.

Officers with the Wilson Police Department took 61-year-old Dale Kroth into custody on Monday, June 8 after reportedly identifying four alleged victims through an investigation initiated in late May.

Charges for four counts of lewd acts to a child under 12 were submitted to the district attorney’s office upon completion of the investigation.

However, District Attorney Craig Ladd said the district attorney’s office determined that Kroth would only be charged with two counts based on “what we believe, after a careful review of the evidence, we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt, which is our burden of proof to obtain a criminal conviction.”

Ladd further stated that “beyond a reasonable doubt” is a higher burden of proof than what is required to justify an arrest, which is “probable cause.”

Charges against the victims’ relatives for child endangerment by failing to protect are still under review at this time.

Prior to his arrest on June 8, Wilson police reportedly interviewed Kroth and conducted forensic interviews with three of the alleged victims, according to a police report from the Wilson Police Department.

During the forensic interviews, one child recalled multiple situations in which Kroth had allegedly exposed himself and inappropriately touched the victims. Another child stated that he had seen someone touch one of the alleged victims inappropriately.

While being interviewed by police, Kroth allegedly admitted to being sexually attracted to both children and adults and stated that he has sexual fantasies about children and “strong urges” when around children.

According to the police report, Kroth denied touching the victims and the allegations made during the forensic interviews, but admitted to allegedly accidentally exposing himself to the children on four different occasions.

Kroth was reportedly convicted in a prior sexual abuse case involving minors in the late 1990’s and is a registered sex offender. A no contact order has been filed against Kroth and he is currently being held at the Carter County jail with a bond set at $1 million.

A preliminary conference is scheduled for July 30. Lewd or indecent acts to a child under 16 is punishable by up to 20 years of imprisonment.