The Terre Haute Fire Department responded to the 2400 block of Second Avenue tonight on what Assistant Chief Norm Loudermilk has already determined is suspicious.
"Yes, it's arson," Loudermilk stated at the scene.
The fire broke out at about 8:30 p.m. in the one-and-a- half story structure that has a condemned notice hanging on the front door. Flames were seen coming from the upper story and heavy smoke was billowing out of the structure. The firefighters quickly had the blaze under control.
Several neighbors at the scene said the residence has been vacant a long time. One woman said she is very concerned about the series of vacant home fires set this year.
"Someone's setting them all on fire,: she said.
A Terre Haute man was arrested on a warrant yesterday following an investigation into multiple child molestation allegations involving his two young granddaughters, ages 10 and 5, that reportedly occurred at a residence this year on the north side of the city.
William E. Haworth, 58, was booked into the Vigo County Jail around 4 p.m. He is charged with three counts of level 1 felony child molesting and three counts of level 4 felony child molesting.
According to the probable cause affidavit prepared by Det. Sanford Scott of the Terre Haute Police Department, the alleged incidents occurred between Jan. 1 and Aug. 1 while the victims' family was living at a home on Locust Street with Haworth -- their grandfather-- and various other family members. The alleged incidents invovled touching, oral sex and manipulation for rewards "to make him feel good."
The mother reported the abuse and moved with her daughters out of the home after finding startling text messages on her older daughter's cell phone.
Both sisters informed their mother of specific details of the onging abuse when the victims' mother reportedly found out via the discovery of text messaging correspondence between the suspect and her older daughter. She noticed texts sent from Haworth requesting her older daughter "to come upstairs with him. She also noticed texts sent from her older daughter responding to the suspect asking for money, adding "she would make him feel good."
Both victims also reportedly made statements regarding the ongoing molestation to the Department of Child Services in August, when the older victim alleged Hayworth was making her and her sister "do uncomfortable things to him."
Haworth allegedly would sometimes give the older victim money for the sexual acts -- around $5 to $10. The younger victim reported that the suspect performed similar acts with her in exchange to "play on his phone." If they did not comply, Haworth allegedly would grab their hands or pull their arms and force it.
According to the court documents, the molestation began when the older victim was 9-years-old and happened multiple times and oftentimes while the younger sister was also in the room while distracted and playing on the suspect's phone. When the younger child noticed what was going during one alleged incident, she said she was asked to join in. Haworth allegedly told the children to keep the sexual abuse secret.
The older victim reported that she witnessed several incidents involving her little sister, "making her do the same things to him."
During questioning with the victims, explicit details of alleged encounters with the suspect were described.
According to the victims' statements, the suspect would periodically and allegedly forcefully place the childrens' hands on his penis. The younger child described Haworth putting "his pee pee in her mouth" and also watched him do that with the older sister on different occasions as well as taking turns during the same occasions. When the younger victim allegedly stopped, the suspect reportedly would get angry. Both victims reported in detail that "stuff would come out and he would need a towel to wipe off with," according to the documents.
In fact, the victims reported details involving instances in which Haworth "would make them rub his private" while upstairs in his bedroom and while lying on the bed with the suspect wearing underwear and a t-shirt or after he would pull his pants down in front of them.
The older victim elaborated that, on one occasion, she touched his "private under his clothes and moved her hand up and down." The younger victim reported incidents where the suspect allegedly kissed her on the lips and had also penetrated her vagina with his finger and touched her "butt."
The victims' mother reportedly informed investigators that the similar allegations have been made regarding Haworth in the past.
In September, Haworth reportedly refused to appear for an appointment with DCS to make a statement regarding the alleged incidents, advising them he "was going to go to work and not coming in," according to the documents.
Hayworth remains held in the Vigo County Jail with bond set at $100,000. He was scheduled to appear for an initial hearing this morning in Vigo Superior Court 3 before Judge David Bolk.
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News Writer: Lucy Pery PHONE: 317-527-4141