Former HGTV star Christopher Dionne — who was featured on the pilot episode of Family Flip — has been arrested. The arrest followed accusations that he molested a 10-year-old girl.
The 36-year-old has been charged with fourth-degree sexual asasult and risk of injury to a minor; though he turned himself in to authorities in Connecticut on Monday, he is denying all the allegations. According to authorities, the one-time reality star is accused of touching an underage girl’s bottom under her clothing while she was at a sleepover birthday party. He was also accused of touching the girl’s chest under her clothes and of taking her photo while she was holding her skirt up.
The victim also told authorities that Dionne repeatedly warned her not to tell anyone what was happening, even threatening her, telling her that if she were to tell someone, he would go to jail and then his daughter “won’t have a daddy.” Additionally, she asked her if she wanted to see his penis, to which she said no. During the time of the alleged incident, there were two other children in the room.
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When turning himself in, Dionne said he was worried about the situation going public, given not only the public mood around the sexual assault allegations in the entertainment industry, but also his position as a somewhat-public figure.
When reached for a statement, a spokesperson for HGTV distanced themselves from the drama, saying that he was on a pilot — that was not picked up — nearly three years ago. He was, however, in the process of filming another pilot for A&E. NBC Connecticut reached out to the network for a statement on the allegations, and said they would be suspending production on his series — tentatively titled House Rescue — in light of the allegations.
He is currently out of bond, after his bail was set at $100,000. His next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 14 in Connecticut.
If you need support, The National Sexual Assault Hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-656-4673. You will be connected with a trained staff member in your area. Or visit RAINN.org to chat online one-on-one with a support specialist at any time.