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The Villages
Thursday, June 30, 2022

Villager involved in mentoring program charged after relationship ends with boy’s mother

Daniel Lee Messerschmidt 2
Daniel Lee Messerschmidt

A Villager who got involved in a local mentoring program has been charged after a relationship with the boy’s mother came crashing down.

Daniel Lee Messerschmidt, 65, of the Village of Poinciana, was arrested earlier this month on warrants charging him with burglary and criminal mischief. He remains free on $12,000 bond.

Messerschmidt had gotten involved in the Christian program, Dads for a Day, and began mentoring a Summerfield boy, according to an arrest affidavit from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

After he was introduced to the boy and the boy’s mother, “I decided I would go the distance with them. Withholding nothing, without hesitation or reservation.” In a letter in which he resigned from the Dads for a Day program, he wrote he made a “mistake” when he “committed” to the boy’s mother.

In a subsequent interview with a Marion County sheriff’s deputy, Messerschmidt said he, “became close with her,” but she, “cut if off.”

The woman came home and found clothes had been scattered on the back steps of her residence. Her iMac computer was on the floor of the kitchen with the screen shattered, the arrest report said.

A neighbor reported seeing a vehicle similar to Messerschmidt’s tan 2015 GMC SUV at the woman’s residence. The neighbor had previously seen Messerschmidt’s vehicle at the home.

Messerschmidt has retained Ocala lawyer Pravesh Bobby Rumalla, who defended a local surgeon nabbed in a 2016 prostitution sting and a driver involved in a 2014 accident on Interstate 75 which claimed the lives of George Phillips who sold homes in The Villages, Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Chelsea Richard and a tow truck operator. 

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