A 47-year-old St. Johns County man is accused of sending sexually explicit messages to a teenager on Snapchat, authorities said.
The Leon County Sheriff’s Office took a complaint reporting the messages, which had been sent to a 14-year-old girl, and started looking into the man, deputies said.
This developed into a monthslong investigation. Authorities said they were eventually able to develop probable cause for the man’s arrest, and obtain a search warrant for his home.
On Feb. 1, members of the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force executed warrants on the man’s home.
The Task Force consisted of members of the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
When the warrant was served, the man was taken into custody and brought to the St. Johns County Jail.
The man is charged with five counts of transmission of harmful material to a minor and one count of online solicitation of a minor.
Online solicitation of a minor is a felony offense in Florida. A conviction for this crime has serious consequences including jail time, fines, and lifetime registry on the Florida Sex Offender Registry. If you’ve been accused of solicitation of a minor, you need to have a Florida Internet Solicitation Attorney at Whittel & Melton fighting for your rights.
If you have been alleged to have coerced or enticed a minor to engage in sexual activity, or even just alleged to have attempted to, you could be looking at severe penalties, including 5-30 years in state prison. It is in your best interest to get legal help right away so that your rights are protected from overzealous police officers and prosecutors.
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