Deputies: Florida man flew to Polk County in attempt to meet 15-year-old girl for sex

Polk County

Polk County Sheriff’s Office

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man from Hialeah on Monday after he allegedly flew to central Florida to have sex with a 15-year-old girl.

In a press release from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, 27-year-old Erick Rabelo was arrested shortly after he arrived in the county after traveling from Orlando International Airport. Rabelo faces several charges, including lewd battery and traveling to meet a minor.

According to investigators, Rabelo met the teen in May 2020 on Snapchat and later traveled to meet her in July of this year, where he rented a motel room and sexually assaulted the victim.

Rabelo later texted the victim, admitting to the incident and saying she was “just another person for me to (expletive).” Rabelo contacted the victim’s mother, saying he had been “dating” the victim for 15 months and got her pregnant.

The victim’s mother contacted deputies, who later posed as the victim and texted Rabelo.

“The victim’s mom did the right thing by immediately calling us. The detectives working this case were thorough and swift,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in the release. “This guy is so messed-up that he actually got a tattoo on his forearm with the victim’s name and the date they met on Snapchat.”

Rabelo flew from Fort Lauderdale to Orlando on Monday before driving into Polk County and being arrested. He later admitted to deputies that he did sexually assault the teen victim.

“Parents, please monitor your children’s online activities,” Judd said. “Make sure there are parental controls on any electronic device your children have access to.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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