Arizona’s child-welfare agency says to call the child-abuse hotline if you reasonably believe that a child has been “abused, neglected, exploited or abandoned.”

A Mesa man accused of sexually abusing two young sisters more than a decade ago was arrested early Tuesday morning.

Two women in their 20s recently went to police and accused 65-year-old Anthony Sample of molesting them for years, according to court records. Sample had been a family friend of the women and lived with them in Mesa when the alleged abuse occurred, police said.

The first woman to come forward, who is now 25-years-old, told police that the first incident with Sample occurred when she was either 5 or 6 years old and he was 45 or 46 years old. At the time, Sample was living at an extended stay motel with the woman and her family in Mesa.

The incident happened when Sample was alone with the child, after her family members had left to attend a family gathering, police say in court records.

Women allege abuse

She had asked Sample if they could go swimming, and he told her “she had to do some things with him in order to let her go swimming,” the documents state. 

For the next couple of years, Sample sexually abused her several times a week, according to the records. The woman told police that it happened so frequently she couldn’t provide specific details.

In 2000, when the woman was 8 years old, documents state that Sample told her she “was getting too old” and shortly afterward stopped the abuse. Sample then began targeting her sister, according to the records.

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The woman’s sister, who is now 22, told police that Sample began molesting her when she was 5 years old.

Other molestation cases

The women chose to come forward after their brother told police he was molested by a different family friend, court records said.

During police questioning, Sample told police he had made a mistake, according to court documents. He also told officials “he did things to both victims and it hurts him inside.”

Sample had also been suspected in two unrelated molestation cases, one involving a 7-year-old girl in 2009 and the other involving a 13-year-old girl 2012, documents state.

Both cases were closed because of a lack of evidence. 

Sample is facing five counts of sexual conduct with a minor and one count of child abuse. He was being held on a $100,000 bond and is next due in court Aug. 14.



If we want to fix Arizona’s broken child-welfare system once and for all, we must rethink how we view child abuse and neglect.


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