Christopher Dionne, known for HGTV's Family Flip, turned himself in to police on Monday over charges of molesting a 10-year-old girl.
Dionne, 36, was charged with sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor. He turned himself in to face those charges on Monday, after Connecticut State Police issued a warrant for his arrest. The alleged assault took place during a birthday sleepover on Nov. 26, 2017.
The alleged victim slept over at Dionne's house along with several other children, according to Connecticut authorities. She claims that she awoke to find Dionne touching her twice in the night. She also told a social worker that the reality star had said some graphic and threatening things to her.
The young girl's mother said that she could tell something was wrong as soon as she picked up her daughter the next day, and prompted her to come forward. When she realized what had happened, Dionne was on his way to California to shoot House Rescue, an upcoming show for A&E. He was informed during his trip that there was an arrest warrant waiting for him at home in Old Lyme, Connecticut.
Dionne spoke with police before leaving California. He told them that the girl had awakened when he came home from a night out, so he'd sat down beside her on the couch to try and coax her back to sleep. He gave a very different, and only slightly less unsettling version of events to police, who told him he was still wanted.
According to NBC Connecticut, Dionne told police he was concerned about the allegations going public, "due to all the stories in the media and the fact that he is on TV."
The TV personality was released on $100,000 bond shortly after his arrest.
When asked to respond to the arrest, HGTV minimized Dionne's role on the network. "The person you reference in your inquiry appeared in a pilot that premiered on our network more than 2-1/2 years ago," the network said in a statement to WFSB. "The pilot was not picked up for series and is no longer on our air."0comments
A&E suspended production on House Rescue. "In light of the allegations which just came to light, we are suspending production on the series."
Dionne is due back in court on Feb. 14 to face the charges.