The brother of the Hardee County sheriff has been accused of sexually abusing a young girl six years ago.

Dennis M. Lanier, 62, was arrested Wednesday during a joint investigation by the Hardee County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

According to the sheriff's office, the investigation began on Oct. 30, when Chief Deputy Randy Dey learned Lanier may have had inappropriate conduct several years ago with a girl who was approximately 5 or 6 years old.

On Nov. 1, Dey contacted FDLE agents after confirming the "strong possibility" that the abuse had occurred.

Investigators said that Lanier ultimately admitted to the allegations and was arrested.

Lanier is facing charges of attempted sexual battery under the age of 12 and lewd and lascivious behavior. He is currently being held without bond.

Officials said Sheriff Arnold Lanier told Dey to investigate the allegations "without bias" and to handle the case as they would any other.