Former West Palm Beach TV Weatherman Rob Lopicola is led away in handcuffs after being charged with sex crimes involving minors.
WEST PALM BEACH, Florida (CBSMiami) - A former West Palm Beach TV weatherman who is now working as a bartender and dancer at a Broward County club was arrested Monday night, charged with having sex with two teenaged boys.
Rob Lopicola, 42, was arrested at his Wilton Manors home Monday and taken to Palm Beach County, where the crimes were allegedly committed, for questioning by the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office.
After being charged with unlawful sexual activity with certain minors, lewd and lascivious battery, computer pornography and child exploitation, Lopicola was led from PBSO headquarters and booked into the Palm Beach jail.
Investigators said the arrests were the result of an investigation that lasted about a year. They said Lopicola had solicited male encounters on Craigslist, claiming to be 18, and apparently apparently connected with two teens in separate incidents.
Police said at first, the teens claimed to be of legal age, but the probable cause report claimed Lopicola learned their true ages of 15 and 17 and still had a sexual relationship with them.
Investigators said the relationship with the 15 yeat old came to light when the teen and his family moved out of Florida. Investigators got access to his cell phone, where they allegedly found hundreds od sexually themed messages including many from Lopicola.
One message talked about their relationship.
"I really like u! we have a big age difference, I'm a lot older, cud b yor dad. U sure u want an older boyfriend and bigger muscular guy too?"
The relationship with the older teen was revealed when the boy's mother found Lopicola hiding in the family's shower. Also saying the two had met on Craigslist, the teen said he had exchanged texts with Lopicola and had met him twice before.
Lopicola had little to say as he was led away to be booked, responding to a reporter's questions about his relationships with, "No, it's accusations." He was set for arraignment in Palm Beach County Court Tuesday.
Lopicola worked as a weatherman for WPTV for nearly a decade.