Tampa man accused of sexually abusing missing girl to appear in court

Crime

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa man who was accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl who was found at his home Tuesday is due in court on Wednesday morning.

Luis Alberto Encarnacion, 22, is accused of having a sexual relationship with the minor who became the subject of an Amber Alert after she disappeared on Monday morning.

Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said the young girl ran away from her middle school to meet a 17-year-old boy and 19-year-old Reginald Clark at a nearby convenience store. Clark and the teen were charged with interference of child custody.

After getting multiple tips from the community, deputies found the girl at Encarnacion’s Tampa home Tuesday morning.

Nocco said the child had met the 22-year-old on social media and believed he was her boyfriend.

“In her mind, she thought Luis was her boyfriend. We all know that’s not real. That’s not real that an 11-year-old has a 22-year-old boyfriend,” Nocco said. “What is real is that Luis, this 22-year-old, acted like a predator on this little child.”

Encarnacion faces charges of concealing the location of a minor, unlawful use of a two-way communication device, lewd and lascivious battery and sexual battery. Deputies said he admitted to the offenses when questioned by detectives.

He is due in court at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning.

Nocco said the victim has had a difficult life and will need support moving forward.

“Her whole entire life, she’s been going through one adverse childhood experience to another. This is a societal issue. We can’t just brush it off and say ‘we found her, it’s OK.’ She needs intensive care, she needs intensive help,” Nocco said. “Her mom is in county jail, her dad is nowhere in the picture. She has gone from one adverse childhood experience to another. That’s why I go back to people who are putting rude comments on there. You have no idea what this girl has gone through in life.”

She is now in the care of social services.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office is handling the case.

“I am horrified by the facts of this extremely disturbing case involving the sexual battery of a minor,” Moody said. “This arrest should serve as a startling warning to parents, that there are adults living among us who would seek out and prey on our children.”

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