Accused serial groper in Lee County posts bond
A man whom investigators said grabbed women in parking lots has walked out of jail. Dominic Sforza paid his bond after a judge ordered him to stay away from his victims. Deputies said they tracked him down after they released a surveillance photo.
Sforza is the man Lee County Sheriff’s Office deputies said terrorized at least three women and likely many more. The suspect groped them in parking lots of grocery and retail stores, along with fast-food restaurants. Detectives traced his employee discount card after a victim said a man violated her at a Fort Myers Target where he works.
One woman, who said the suspect made sexual and specific demands of her, told WINK News after his arrest she knew she had to take action. “I am so elated,” she said. “I just got cold chills hearing that again.”
The judge set bond at $20,000 for each of the three battery charges Sforza faces. Each charge carries a maximum of one year in prison. Sforza posted bond, but the suspect must be fitted with a GPS monitor before he walks out of jail. Meanwhile, deputies said they are not done with him yet. WINK confirmed they had linked Sforza to at least two other cases and more charges could be added.
The third woman in the case said even though the suspect will bond out, Lee County now knows his face, name and what he did to her. All thanks to SWFL Crime Stoppers tipster. “At the time, it made me feel very sick and invaded,” she said. “He’s not gonna do that to someone else.”
But despite the notoriety, the battery charge is a misdemeanor because it is not considered a sexual assault. Therefore, Attorney Peter Dennis said, the suspect can leave regardless of the three charges he faces. “In order to elevate that to a higher form of battery, such as a sexual assault or any sort of battery involving a sexual charge,” Dennis said, “there actually has to be some sort of penetration.”
The law is tougher on people who inappropriately touch children. Scott Johnson, a forensic psychologist, said it would take a longer sentence, medical treatment and supervision to keep a person like Sforza from escalating. “This type of offender typically does have an escalation even moving from just groping,” Johnson said, “to actually rape or attempted rape.”
The article continues below the video.
Johnson told us, now that Sforza is in custody, he would not be surprised if more potential victims came forward. Johnson wants a lengthier sentence, a mandate of treatment and long term supervision. “We can make sure that he is complying with any and all recommendations for treatment,” Johnson said.