Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Construction worker met 11-year-old girl at her home. Then came the texts, cops say.

A Florida construction worker was arrested on Monday, accused of “preying” on a little girl, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

The arrest report says that Michael Lee Caraway, who is from Hudson, Florida, in Pasco County, was on a recent remodeling job when he exchanged phone numbers with an 11-year-old girl who was at the home while the work was being done.

According to the arrest affidavit, Pasco County Sheriff’s Office computer-crimes deputies responded to the victim’s home after her guardians alerted authorities of suspicious behavior: They believed that the child was being solicited online by a man she met when he was doing construction work at the house in unincorporated Polk County. Their suspicions were correct, cops say.

“He then began sending her nude pics, and having her send nude pics of herself back to him, and had very sexually explicit conversations with her of what he wanted to do to her,” read the post, which adds that Caraway sent the girl “adult porn.”

Detectives made contact with the girl, and found more than 450 pornographic images on the victim’s phone of herself that she sent to the suspect “at his direction.” There were also more than 50 images of the suspect’s genitalia that he had sent to her.

An arrest warrant was released for Caraway. Detectives tracked down the 38-year-old man and charged him with solicitation, directing sexual performance of a child, transmission of material harmful to a minor and use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony.

He was taken into custody by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and booked into the Polk County Jail, where he is being held in lieu of a $20,000 bond.

Once Caraway was in custody, he admitted to having explicit sexual conversations with the victim via text messages, including sending and receiving pornographic images, police said, and also admitted to sending the girl adult pornography from various websites and “making out” with her.

Caraway’s electronic devices were seized, and more charges may be pending following a forensic analysis of the devices.

“Here’s another disgusting suspect who preyed on a Polk County child online,” wrote Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. “We say it over and over again — we don’t care where you live, if you victimize a child in our county, we will come after you and put you in jail. We can only hope this suspect hasn’t victimized any other children he met during the course of his occupation or in his personal life. If you suspect he has, please call law enforcement immediately.”


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