Cops in Connecticut say a former HGTV host who had a new pilot due to debut on A&E sexually assaulted a 10-year-old female asking her if she was a “big girl or little girl?” According to a Facebook post from the Connecticut State Police, the investigation into the conduct of Christopher Dionne goes back to November 2017. Troopers were called to a home in Old Lyme, close to the Long Island Sound, in November after a 10-year-old girl reported that she had been sexually assaulted.
Over the course of the investigation, Dionne was identified as the suspect. On January 29, Dionne turned himself in to state police in Westbrook. He is being charged with sexual assault in the fourth degree and risk of injury to a minor. Dionne is due to appear in court in New London and is being held on a $100,000 bond.
Dionne, who lives in Old Lyme, appeared in Family Flip on HGTV in July 2015. The show only aired one episode and wasn’t picked up. It dealt with Dionne and his twin brother, Michael, remodeling a home and then selling it on at a profit. After news of his arrest broke, references to Dionne were removed from HGTV’s website.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The 10-Year-Old Says Dionne Asked if She Wanted to Kiss His Genitals Back in September
The 10-year-old girl was sleeping at Dionne’s home because he was having a party, reports NBC Connecticut. The station says that the girl told cops that Dionne touched her on the buttocks and held her shirt up to take a photo. A few hours later, Dionne came back and did the same thing again, the girl said. Dionne is also accused of asking if the girl wanted to see his penis. The girl said “No” and that Dionne told her not to tell anyone, “I’ll have to go to jail and (my daughter) won’t have a daddy.”
NBC Connecticut reports that Dionne’s version of events was that the 10-year-old girl was awake when he came home from a night out. When he sat on the couch with the girl started to rub his stomach. Dionne told cops that he told her, “That’s big girl stuff.” At that point, Dionne says the girl started to cry.
At the time the allegations first arose, Dionne was in Santa Monica filming his television show with his brother. NBC Connecticut reports that Dionne was concerned about the scandal getting into the public eye “due to all the stories in the media and the fact that he is on TV.” The New London Day newspaper reported that Dionne’s initial reaction to a police officer was, “Oh my God. This can’t be happening.”
2. Dionne Is Married to Writer Summer-Sage Williams
Dionne married writer Summer-Sage Williams in Old Lyme, Connecticut, where they now live, in September 2012. According to her Facebook page, Summer-Sage is a published writer and a 2002 graduate of Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic where she studied sociology. Sage is a native of Windsor.
In March 2015, Summer-Sage published her book, The Little White Flower. The Amazon description of the book says, “The Little White Flower is a story about a flower who loves to eat junk food. She refuses to take in the proper nutrients she needs in order to grow healthy and strong. The other flowers around her try to tell her what foods she needs, but she ignores their advice and mocks them. After a period of time the little white flower becomes sick. It is here, that she needs to make a decision whether she wants to incorporate healthy foods into her life in order to be well.” Summer-Sage has seven books listed for sale on Amazon.
The New London Day reports that Dionne and his wife have a son and daughter together.
3. A&E Has Suspended Production of Dionne’s New Show
Dionne is out on bail, according to the NBC Connecticut report. A statement from HGTV said that Dionne had only appeared in one episode of his show on the network in 2015. While A&E says that the production of Dionne’s new show has been suspended.
Houzz reported in December 2017 that Dionne’s new show would deal with the twins going to home that “are sitting on the market over 100 days with no offers yet.” The first homes to be featured in the show were in Woodland Hills and Thousand Oaks in southern California. Michael Dionne is based in Los Angeles. Another home featured on the show, according to We-Ha.com, was in West Hartford, Connecticut.
4. Dionne Brought ‘Financial & Real Estate Skills’ to His Reality Show
According to a press kit for Dionne’s 2015 show on HGTV, “The Dionne twins don’t just flip homes. They do every bit of the restoration themselves and use as many reclaimed materials as possible.” The press release adds that the pair were raised on a dairy farm in Massachusetts and that “at an early age how to find value in everything they found around them.” The duo combines “Michael’s building and repurposing know how with Christopher’s financial and real estate skills, they are a winning team for any project as long as they can see eye to eye.”
You can read the press kit here:
5. Dionne Had a ‘Non-Sexual Relationship’ With the Alleged Victim’s Mother
The New London Day newspaper reports that Dionne had a “non-sexual” relationship with the 10-year-old girl’s mother. That relationship occurred when Dionne and his wife were “having issues a few years ago.”