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Man found dead in Glendale motel had been accused of molestation

October 28, 2011 |  1:42 pm

A Northern California man found dead in a Glendale motel earlier this month had been accused of molesting a girl in Ukiah seven years ago, officials said. Tommy tonkin 

Thomas P. Tonkin, 61, was found dead Oct. 19 in a room at the Chariot Inn on East Colorado Avenue.

Coroner’s officials were waiting for a toxicology report to determine a cause of death.

But a statement from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department noted that empty prescription medication containers and half-empty liquor bottles were found in the room.

Mendocino County officials said Tonkin became the subject of an investigation last summer when the girl, now 16, reported he had molested her when she was 9.

The molestation occurred shortly after the death of her father, who was a friend of Tonkin’s, she said.

She told detectives that Tonkin, who had moved to Oregon, had again contacted her.

Detectives arrested him at a meeting they monitored in August between the girl and Tonkin at a Ukiah hotel, where Tonkin allegedly proposed that he and the girl have sex.

Tonkin was later released on $250,000 bail and was scheduled to appear Friday at a preliminary hearing in Ukiah.

He was apparently visiting friends in Southern California, said Andrew Porter, the Mendocino County sheriff’s detective investigating the case.

Porter said Tonkin told him he had been involved in real estate in Santa Rosa and had had a career as a commercial actor many years ago, including commercials for American Express.


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Photo: Thomas P. Tonkin. Credit: Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department