DEERFIELD BEACH - A registered sex offender hired to work at the Quiet Waters Park marina has been charged with molesting a 10-year-old girl he took on a boat ride at the park, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office.
Corey Hipscher, 37, of Plantation, was arrested Tuesday after the child's family reported the incident, which they said occurred that afternoon.
Hipscher is being held at the Broward County Jail without bond.
He was hired by Broward Watersports, a subcontractor of Toby's Concessions, which runs food, bicycle and boat concessions at the county's parks, and had been working there for about four months, officials said.
The owner of Broward Watersports, Christophe Ribot, of Miami, could not be reached for comment. A man who answered the phone at his home said he was out of the country.
Broward County officials are investigating how Hipscher got hired at the park, because contractors are required to check the background of employees, said County Parks Director Bob Harbin.
"I'm very upset about this because I have grandchildren that age," Harbin said. "Obviously they didn't do the background checks; otherwise they would have caught this person."
The marina was closed this afternoon, gated and locked, but it was unclear who shut it down and for how long.
Hipscher is on probation until 2013, stemming from his conviction in a 2002 Coconut Creek case of false imprisonment and sexual battery involving a victim who was older than 12 at the time, sheriff's officials said.
The terms of his probation would determine whether he should have been restricted from having any contact with children, said Florida Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger. The specific terms of Hipscher's probation, though, were not immediately available.
In the Tuesday incident, the 10-year-old girl's family alleges that Hipscher offered to take the girl and her female cousin on a ride around the lake on a flotation device pulled by a small motorized boat, authorities said.
An adult accompanying the girls wanted to go with them, but Hipscher said he could have only the girls as passengers due to the boat's weight limit, the Sheriff's Office said.
The adult remained on the dock waiting for the girls.
The girls got on the boat with Hipscher. The 10-year-old was the first to ride on the float and as Hipscher assister her out of the water to bring her back onto the boat, he touched and rubbed her vaginal area and buttocks several times, sheriff's investigators said, adding that the 10-year-old's cousin reportedly witnessed the touching.
Once ashore, the girls told family members that Hipscher had fondled one of the them, and relatives confronted Hipscher, officials said.
He denied the allegations and begged the family to ignore the incident. He also told the family that he would quit his job or allow them to beat him, so long as they did not report what happened, the Sheriff's Office said.
When the family told Hipscher they were contacting the Sheriff's Office and park management, Hipscher drove away in his vehicle, but deputies arrested him soon after at his home, officials said.