A man who officials say was in the country illegally is behind bars after he allegedly sexually battered an 8-year-old girl in Haines City, Polk County sheriff's deputies said.
Wilibaldo Salinas Garcia, who also uses the alias Lorenzo Sipriano, 29, was arrested Friday.
The investigation began Aug. 24 when the victim told her mother that Garcia had entered her bedroom and molested her. The victim said a similar incident had happened last year.
Garcia told the mother he was sorry for what he had done and would apologize to the girl, deputies said.
Detectives said they have text and audio of Garcia admitting to and apologizing for the molestation.
"Sorry won't cut it for this guy; he's only sorry that he was caught," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. "He tried to prevent getting caught by telling the girl that if she told her mother, her mother would hit her."
Garcia was arrested and charged with sexual battery on a person less than 12 years old.
The sheriff's office said he had previously been arrested on charges of resisting, loitering, and marijuana possession.
Deputies said Garcia is in the United States illegally from Mexico, and a hold has been placed on him at the request of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
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