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Deputies: Convicted felon arrested for sexual battery of 15-year-old

Daniel Fehringer, 28, initially denied the charges and said he and the teen were "just friends," according to a press release.
Credit: Polk County Sheriff's Office

LAKELAND, Fla — A convicted felon from Lakeland is behind bars after deputies say he sexually battered a 15-year-old.

According to a press release, the teen's mom discovered inappropriate text, Snapchat, and Facebook messages from 28-year-old Daniel Fehringer on her daughter's cell phone. 

The Polk County Sheriff's Office was contacted, and detectives spoke to the teen who authorities say told them the two had been “texting each other in a sexual manner, and he had sent her pictures of his penis.” She also described engaging in a sexual act with Fehringer, according to deputies.

When the sheriff's office spoke to Fehringer, deputies say he admitted to knowing the teen but initially denied the charges saying he and the teen were "just friends."

A search of his devices found deleted nude photos of Fehringer, according to detectives. It's at this time they say he admitted to sending a nude photo to the teen.

“Parents and guardians are the first line of defense when it comes to keeping children safe from sexual predators like this guy. I’m proud of this mother for taking a closer look at her daughter’s cell phone and social media accounts and preventing this horrible act from becoming any worse than it already was. Parents, put parental controls on your child’s devices and check them regularly. This is the only way you can ensure they are safe online," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.

Fehringer has been arrested in the past for attempted burglary, attempted escape, two counts of battery and three counts of battery on a law enforcement officer. His criminal history includes 12 felonies and 17 misdemeanors, according to the sheriff's office

Monday's arrest adds the following charges: lewd battery on a minor, two counts of transmission of harmful material to a minor and resisting a law enforcement officer without violence 

Fehringer is being held in the Polk County Jail without bond.

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