Former Host of an HGTV Pilot Found Guilty of Molesting Daughter's 10-Year-Old Best Friend
The victim and Christopher Dionne's daughter were on the same soccer team and had regular sleepovers at each other's houses
Christopher Dionne, a former host of an HGTV home remodeling pilot, has been found guilty of molesting a 10-year-old girl in his Connecticut home.
On Wednesday, Dionne was convicted of risk of injury to a minor and fourth degree sexual assault, a New London Superior Court official tells PEOPLE.
He is expected to be released on a $100,000 bond while awaiting sentencing on Dec. 11.
During the trial, Dionne’s victim, now 12, testified that she was best friends with the 37-year-old’s daughter at the time of the assault.
She and Dionne’s daughter were on the same soccer team and had regular sleepovers at each other’s houses.
According to the arrest warrant application obtained by PEOPLE, Dionne’s victim claimed he touched her inappropriately while she was at a birthday sleepover at his house in November 2017 — waking her up around 1:30 a.m. by placing his hand against her buttocks under her pajamas as she laid on her belly. She said he later reached his hand under her bra and jiggled her chest, even allegedly taking a photo of her on his phone.
Dionne molested the girl twice, several hours apart, the child said. Dionne’s 14-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter were in the room sleeping while it happened.
During the assault, Dionne asked the 10-year-old if she wanted to see his genitals, asking her, “Are you a big girl or a little girl?” and telling her, “If you tell your mom, I’ll go to jail and (my daughter) won’t have a daddy.”
When she refused his advances, Dionne eventually went back to his room.
This wasn’t the first time Dionne assaulted the girl. A similar incident also happened earlier, in September, and at that time, Dionne asked the girl if she wanted to kiss his genitals.
The friendship between the victim and Dionne’s daughter ended after the assault.
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Dionne’s show, Family Flip, ran for one episode back in 2015.
In a statement to PEOPLE, an HGTV spokesperson said, “The individual referenced appeared in a pilot that premiered on our network in 2015. The pilot was not picked up for series.”
In a statement, A&E said they’d suspended production on a new show they were working on with Dionne, NBC Connecticut reported.