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Bloomington man arrested on child molestation and sexual misconduct charges

A 54-year-old man was arrested Monday night on preliminary charges of sexual misconduct with a minor and child molesting.

Bloomington Police Department Sgt. Dana Cole said the victim's mother called police around 11 p.m. Monday. Her 5-year-old daughter had had two interactions with Gary Collins, and she felt he was showing an interest in her child.

Cole said the mother and daughter arrived at their home around 5:30 p.m. Monday. The child ran from the car she exited towards the pool and stopped at a bench to sit next to Collins. The mother reportedly approached the bench, saw Collins had his hand on her child's leg and told Collins to get away from her daughter.

The mother told police Collins responded he was a good guy, was not dangerous and had no gun or weapons on him. The mother then took her daughter back home.

Cole said the mother accused Collins of following them to the home and pacing in front of the entrance. 

Police also spoke to two witnesses who were at the victim's home, Cole said. The witnesses claimed the child went outside by herself to play while her mother took care of her other children later that night. Collins approached her and asked if she wanted a Pepsi to drink. The victim followed Collins towards his home but fled before going inside.

Police arrived, located Collins and advised him of his Miranda rights. Collins initially lied to police about the encounter, Cole said, but later he told police the victim sat 6 inches away from his right side while they sat on the bench together. He said he patted her leg and pressed his thumb near her groin. 

Cole said Collins told police he saw the victim riding a bike outside later that day and asked her if she would like a Pepsi at his home. Collins said she ran away before entering. 

Collins told police he was sexually aroused by the child. He said he intended to get the victim naked once she was inside his home and make her touch his penis while he masturbated. 

Cole said Collins observed the victim play the day prior to the incident. Police arrested Collins and are continuing to investigate. 

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