Anonymous tip leads to arrest of serial groper in Lee County

A North Port man involved in at least four different groping attacks across Lee County was arrested on Tuesday evening.

The suspect, Dominic Sforza, 23, faces three counts of battery charges. Sforza made his first appearance in court on Wednesday and was issued a $60,000 bond—$20,000 for each count. He was also ordered to wear a GPS monitor and stay away from the locations of the crimes, as well as no contact with the victims.

Surveillance image of groper suspect, Dominic Sforza, released on Monday. (Credit: SWFL Crime Stoppers)

For a victim, what a difference a picture and a few hours can make. She was living in fear of the suspect Tuesday morning. The woman could not shake the fact the suspect groped her at a Dollar Tree and that he was still out there. Tuesday night, she relaxed for the first time in days.

The woman was the first to come forward, claiming a man groped her. Lee County Sheriff’s Office confirmed four other cases. Late Tuesday afternoon, there was a break in the case. “They actually came to my apartment and they had six pictures and I had to choose from the six,” the woman said, “and they weren’t allowed to tell me if I was right or wrong.”

This victim said detectives later told her that Sforza confessed. Even though the suspect is now behind bars, she still sees his face. “I’m still gonna be very cautious knowing that there’s one less of these people,” she said, “makes me feel a lot of relief.”

LCSO put out a photo from a surveillance camera on Monday afternoon. By Tuesday evening, Sforza was arrested. Now, one of the victims wants to say thank you. “Just how thankful I am for that you know people taking this serious,” she said. “I’m so grateful for that.”

“So happy that it turned out this good, this quick,” Trish Routte, the coordinator with SWFL Crime Stoppers, said in an email to WINK News. “That anonymous tip that came in late last night was the game-changer.”

Reporter:Sydney Persing
Gina Tomlinson
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