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Predator Used Social Media to Plan Sex Assault of 13-Year-Old

A Florida man has been accused of creating a fake profile on popular social media platforms and using it as a catalyst to successfully carry out a sexual assault on a teenage girl.

The mother of a 13-year-old girl who has a Snapchat account reported that she and her daughter have an understanding that she will check her daughter’s messages regularly.

On September 11, when the mom checked her daughter’s interaction with a person displayed as a grown man, she reportedly saw text exchanges between her child and the account holder that implied the pair had some kind of sexual contact.

Her daughter reportedly told her mom that she set up a meeting with the man, and after he picked her up in his vehicle that morning they drove into the woods and had sexual intercourse.

The girl’s mother reported the incident to the authorities, and an investigation into the claim was opened.

After they believed they had identified the suspect, the authorities allegedly found that a Snapchat profile associated with the man with whom the teen had been chatting displayed a picture of a black man, and they located an account on Instagram with the same image.

29-year-old Joaquin Mendez from Deland, the man that the police believe had the sexual encounter with the teen, did not appear to have any physical features in common with the picture displayed on the social media profiles. It was purported that the accounts were made to mislead the young girl.

The authorities were issued the necessary warrants and went to Mendez’s residence to place him under arrest, citing that he was cooperative during his detainment.

He was booked into the Volusia County Jail on a $25,000 bond, and Mendez is facing charges for suspicion of lewd or lascivious battery of a victim under 16.

If you or someone you love is suspected of a sexual offense, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.

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