POLK COUNTY, Fla. — A 24-year-old California man is accused of sexually grooming a 12-year-old Florida girl and telling her he wanted to get her pregnant.
Eduardo Martinez was arrested Tuesday.
The investigation began in May when the Tampa Bay area girl's mom told a Polk County school resource deputy that she'd found naked and sexually explicit videos and photos on her child's cell phone. The mother also reported finding sexual SnapChat messages between her daughter and an unknown man, authorities said.
The school resource deputy handed the information over to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Computer Crimes Unit, which opened a case.
Investigators say they examined the girl's phone and noted a pattern of sexual grooming, where Martinez asked her to send photos and videos of her involved in sexually-exploitive acts.
"Detectives also found a conversation between the suspect and the victim where the suspect told the victim that he wanted to get her pregnant," the sheriff's office wrote in a news release.
The girl reportedly told him she was 15 years old and didn't want to become pregnant.
"The suspect then responded, 'Idc you are a baby. I want a baby,'" the sheriff's office said.
The Polk County Sheriff's Office obtained a warrant, and Martinez was arrested by local police where he lives in Red Bluff, Calif. He was charged with four counts of transmitting harmful material to a minor and eight counts of using a computer to lure a child.
"When interviewed, Martinez told Red Bluff detectives he did send the victim sexually explicit videos and images," the Polk County Sheriff's Office said. "He also told detectives there will be 'hundreds' of sexually explicit images and videos of the victim on his phone, along with similar videos and images of other underage girls with whom he had also been communicating."
Authorities say Martinez told he moved in January to California from Oregon with the idea of getting a "fresh start."
“I can’t say this often enough: Predators are lurking online and on apps looking for children to groom for sex," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd wrote in a statement. "This is why it is so important for parents to make it their business to check their child’s electronic devices often. Because this mother checked her daughter’s phone and told law enforcement, a predator was stopped before something worse could happen. As far as this sexually deviant creep in California, he will be held accountable for his despicable behavior.”
Martinez was taken to the Tehama County Jail in California. He's being held without bond and will eventually be extradited to Florida.
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