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Detectives with the Northern York County Regional Police Department say an Abbottstown man began sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl he had access to when she was 3-years-old. The allegations surfaced only after the man attempted to engage in a sexual act with another young girl, age 13, according to police records.

Howard Daniels III, 41, is charged with a single count each of aggravated indecent assault of a child and indecent assault of a person less than 13 years of age, as well as two counts of corruption of minors.

According to the charging documents, Daniels used his hands to "tickle" and to penetrate the younger girl on more than one occasion over a period of more than two years, beginning on or about Jan. 1, 2014. The abuse lasted until sometime before March 10, 2016, when the abuse was reported by his wife.

The alleged abuse came to light when a 13-year-old girl was to spend the night of Feb. 29 at Daniels' home. Daniels' wife works the 3-to-11 p.m. shift, and she left the house with Daniels and the two young girls inside on the night of the incident, the report said.

In a recorded interview conducted at the York County Children's Advocacy Center, the older victim told investigators what allegedly happened to her.

After the younger girl had gone to bed, the teenager prepared to lie down on the couch to sleep. Daniels then allegedly came and sat beside her on the couch and asked permission to "masturbate" her. The victim immediately refused.

"I understand," Daniels said, according to the report.

He went to his room and the victim called her mother to come get her. The mother then reported the incident to Daniels' wife, who later confronted him. Days later, the alleged incidents involving the younger girl were reported to police.

In another interview at the children's center, the younger victim said Daniels allegedly would come into her room at night while her mother was at work and tickle the inside of her vagina. She also mentioned Daniels engaging in at least one sexual act with the family dog.

According to the documents, the abuse allegedly became such common practice that the girl once asked her mother to tickle her there while they were lying on the couch together. When confronted, Daniels denied any wrongdoing and said he only tickled the inside of the girl's thighs.

According to prison records, Daniels posted $300,000 bail and was released Monday.

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