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Could North Fort Myers man accused of groping woman have more victims?

Brian Dear is accused of lewd or lascivious behavior and detectives say he was picked out of a lineup.
Brian Dear
Posted at 6:32 PM, May 24, 2024

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Lee County Sheriff's Office arrested a 30-year-old man for allegedly groping a woman. He could potentially be linked to other similar crimes.

Deputies say 30-year-old Brian Dear grabbed a woman's buttocks as she was taking out the trash on May 20.

She gave detectives a description, which led them to a hotel room at the Riverview Inn.

Inside was Brian Dear, and he matched the description given to authorities. Detectives say the victim also positively identified him.

Deputies tracked down a blue bike, one shoe and a hat, all of which they say was identical to what he was wearing during the alleged crime. The items were in a dumpster behind a restaurant on Cleveland Avenue.

Authorities started looking into another incident, potentially involving the same man.

Crime Stoppers got a report about a man that "significantly resembles the suspect in the call."

In that case, the person is accused of groping a 69-year-old woman while she was walking her dog in a North Fort Myers parking lot on 3350 North Key Drive.

The bike deputies located from the May 20 crime appeared to be identical to the bicycle in the Crime Stoppers tip. However, in a line-up, the victim from the North Key Drive case could not positively identify Dear as the perpetrator.

Dear is charged with the May 20 case, arrested for lewd or lascivious behavior.