Star of HGTV Home Remodel Pilot Arrested for Allegedly Sexual Assaulting 10-Year-Old Girl
Christopher Dionne, a home remodeling TV star who appeared in a pilot that once aired on HGTV, has been arrested and charged in the alleged sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl at his Old Lyme, Connecticut, home
The star of a TV show pilot that once aired on HGTV has been arrested and charged with the sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl at his Old Lyme, Connecticut, home, police confirm to PEOPLE.
Christopher Dionne, 36, turned himself in to Connecticut State Police on Monday after an active arrest warrant was issued. He was charged with fourth-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a child, and released on $100,000 bond.
Dionne — who once starred in an HGTV show called Family Flip — has yet to enter a plea on both charges, and is due back in court on Feb. 14. The attorney listed for Dionne in the arrest warrant told PEOPLE that he has not been in contact with him since his arrest. No other legal representation was listed for Dionne in online court documents.
According to the arrest warrant application obtained by PEOPLE, Dionne’s alleged victim claimed to a social worker he touched her inappropriately while she was at a birthday party sleepover at his house in November — 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 claimed he later reached his hand under her bra and jiggled her chest, even allegedly taking a photo of her on his phone as she held her shirt up.
The alleged incidents occurred twice, several hours apart, she claimed. Dionne’s 14-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter (the accuser’s “best friend”) were allegedly in the room sleeping while it happened.
Dionne also allegedly questioned if the 10-year-old 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.” She claimed she refused his alleged advances and he eventually went back to his room.
A similar incident also happened earlier, in September, the unidentified victim alleged. At that time, Dionne asked the girl if she wanted to kiss his genitals, she claimed.
Her mother contacted police Nov. 27, the day after the second alleged incident occurred. When police visited Dionne’s home on Nov. 30, he was in California filming a new home remodeling show for A&E with his twin brother called House Rescue. Dionne’s wife told police that he had gone out with friends on the night of Nov. 25 and was back in their bed by the time she woke up, around 5 or 6 a.m. local time.
Dionne called police from California, confirming that he interacted with the girl but claimed that she was awake when he came home around 1 a.m., the warrant said. He alleged to police that the victim was lying down and put her arm around his waist, rubbing his stomach. He claimed he moved her arm away, telling her, “That’s inappropriate.” When she allegedly did it again, he told her, “That’s big girl stuff.”
She then turned over and began to cry, Dionne claimed. He claimed he rubbed her back and told her to go back to sleep before going back in his bedroom.
Police also said in the warrant that Dionne told them he was concerned about the allegations going public “due to all the stories in the media and the fact that he is on TV.”
Dionne’s show, Family Flip,ran for one episode back in 2015.
In a statement to PEOPLE, HGTV said, “The person you reference in your inquiry appeared in a pilot that premiered on our network more than 2-1/2 years ago. The pilot was not picked up for series and is no longer on our air.”
A&E said in a statement they’ve suspended production on House Rescue in light of the allegations, NBC Connecticut reported.