Lake Worth teen nabbed in Internet sex case

By Al Pefley bio | email

LAKE WORTH, FL (WFLX) - Sheriff's officials say a teenager from suburban Lake Worth has been arrested for getting girls to send him topless photos of themselves over the Internet, and threatening them if they stopped sending him photos. Because of his age, the name of the teen who's been arrested has not been released.

Authorities say he found a way to persuade girls to send him sexually explicit photos of themselves. And it worked, until one of the girls and her mother recently went to the sheriff's office.

"I'm very surprised; I'm very surprised. I didn't know nothing like that was going on over here!" said Rosemeri Andrade, a neighbor.

Details of the case are spelled out in a search warrant.

Investigators say the case involves three girls, and some or all of them sent topless photos of themselves to a teen in suburban Lake Worth.

One of the girls said she did it to earn extra money over the summer, and that he paid her $450.

She also said she gets an extra $50 for every girl she can get to do it.

He kept pressuring her to send him more photos, and if she did not  he said he would distribute the photos she had sent so far to "...all her friends on MySpace."

He also said he knew where she lived and he "...was going to send the pictures to all her neighbors" if she did not comply.

The teen told one of the girls the picture she sent "...Will now be used as blackmail against you" and "I will immediately start sending the picture out to every single person that is on your friends list."

In early August, sheriff's detectives seized two computers from the teen's home in a gated neighborhood west of Lake Worth, and recently got enough evidence to arrest him.

"I'm shocked that would happen here, that that would take place here. I mean, just somebody doing that in general, it's a horrible thing. Let alone when you find out it's one of your neighbors," said Michael Lilly, another neighbor.

Again, we're told there are three girls who were victims of this. The teenage boy, believed to be 17,  has been arrested and is currently facing five charges in juvenile court. Because he's a minor, the arrest report has not been released.

He's expected to be charged as an adult in the next few days where he would face a stiffer sentence if he's convicted. Once the case is transferred to the adult court system, the arrest report will then be available.