POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday a Lakeland man was arrested after deputies say he posed as a teenage boy to get nude photos of a 14-year-old girl.
The sheriff’s office says 47-year-old Timothy Jacobs was charged Thursday with directing sexual performance by a child, using a computer to seduce a child, use of a communication device to commit a felony, and transmitting material harmful to a minor.
According to deputies, Jacobs first made contact with the victim in March 2020 via Snapchat, a social media app, and they began to chat with each other. During their chats, deputies say Jacobs told the victim he was a 17-year-old boy, and she told him that she was 14.
A release from the sheriff’s office said Jacobs started requesting nude photos of the victim by the end of May 2020, which she eventually provided. He also started sending her nude photos of himself.
Deputies say Jacobs drove to the victim’s house on Oct. 17, and when he arrived, the victim was in the yard with her stepfather. Once the stepfather met Jacobs, he realized Jacobs was not a teenager and told the girl to go inside their house. Jacobs then got in his car and left.
The sheriff’s office said the victim’s mother looked over their cell phone bills and noticed one phone number had been associated with her daughter’s phone. The girl’s mother found that the phone number belonged to Jacobs, deputies said.
According to PCSO, upon further research, the victim’s mother found an address and name of Jacobs’ wife, who happened to be a friend of hers.
The girl’s mother reached out to her friend and confirmed the number belonged to Jacobs, deputies say. She then contacted the Polk County Sheriff’s Office to report what had happened.
After several interviews, subpoenas to Snapchat, search warrants, and collection of evidence, the sheriff’s office said Jacobs was arrested Thursday at his home and taken to the processing center.
“The actions of this sick manipulator have not only caused a tremendous amount of grief for the victim’s family but to his own family as well,” Sheriff Grady Judd said. “These were textbook tactics used by predators to groom young victims. And this is another example of why parents need to monitor their child’s activities on social media, games, and cell phones.”