Father Says His 7-Year-Old Daughter Was Molested By Trusted Friend
By Jeff Tang
(LOUISVILLE) -- A convicted sex offender registered in Kentucky is accused of molesting a 7-year-old girl. Detectives in Bullitt County have arrested Stephen Doninger and charged him with first degree sexual abuse. WAVE 3's Jeff Tang investigates.
Charged with molesting a 7-year-old girl, Stephen Doninger almost avoided arrest but that would have meant facing an enraged father's anger.
"I literally grabbed my gun and was heading out the door," he said. "I felt the pain in my heart, the sickness in my stomach. This was my daughter. And it was done by a trusted friend. I've known the man for 30 years, and he done this to my child."
But the girl's father managed to control his rage and pulled back so the Bullitt County Sheriff's Department could arrest Doninger.
Bullitt County Sheriff's Detective Scott McGaha says Doninger "gave us a taped confession that he did in fact molest this girl."
The alleged abuse happened when the 7-year-old visited Doninger's home with her father. Detectives believe he used his backyard graphic design business as a diversion.
The father says the abuse happened when he left her child unattended with Doninger as he walked outside to a garage for a few minutes. "In a 5-minute period, this happened."
It turns out that Doninger is a registered sex offender -- something the victim's family may have known if they had known his real name. "He goes by Von. I've known him for 30 years. Always known him as Von."
"These parents never knew he was a sex offender," McGaha said. "When I broke the news to them, they were devastated."
Just last year, Doninger was convicted of four counts of child sex abuse in Jefferson County. But he never served his 15-year sentence, giving him the opportunity to strike again.
"That's a letdown," said the girl's father. "The system let us down. This guy just needs to die a painful death in jail."
Detectives say there's a good chance Doninger will be sent away for a long time. "It's a very strong case," McGaha said. "He's going to go away for awhile, and he knows that."
The girl's father is glad his daughter had the courage to come forward. "She's a hero. She's going to save other kids from being hurt by this monster."
The family says the girl came forward with the information after hearing a "good touch, bad touch" presentation at her school.
And while Doninger is a registered sex offender, there's no law that would have required him to reveal that information at his graphic design studio.
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