POLK COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10)– A California man was arrested for four counts of transmitting harmful material to a minor and eight counts of using a computer to lure a child.
Eduardo Martinez, 24, of California was arrested on Thursday, June 17.READ MORE: Biden to travel Tuesday to Buffalo following mass shooting
According to reports, in May of this year, the victim’s mother reported to the school resource deputy at her 12-year-old daughter’s school that she had discovered nude and sexually explicit photos and videos on her daughter’s cell phone. She also found sexually explicit SnapChat messages between her daughter and an unknown man. The school resource deputy turned the information over to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Computer Crimes Unit.
Once the school resource deputy turned the information over, detectives conducted a forensic search of the victim’s phone and discovered a pattern of sexual grooming, including SnapChat messages where the suspect asked the victim to send him images and videos of her perfomrin sexual exploitive acts, to which the victim complied.
During the forensic search, 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 victim replied to the suspect that she was 15-years-old and did not want to get pregnant, but the suspect responded with, ” Idc you are a baby. I want a baby.” According to reports.
Detectives found multiple text messages where the victim referred to the suspect as Eduardo. Also found were a nude photo of an adult male and a photo of a Hispanic male with dark short hair.READ MORE: Small plane crashes into Florida bridge, killing one person and injuring five
Using investigative resources, detectives on this case identified the suspect as Eduardo Martinez of Red Bluff, California. A Polk County warrant was obtained, and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office detectives contacted the Red Bluff Police Department who assisted in the arrest of Martinez.
According to officials, when interviewed, Martinez told Red Bluff detectives he did send the victim sexually explicit videos and images. 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.
He told detectives that he moved to Red Bluff from Oregon in January of this year for a “fresh start.”
“I can’t say this often enough: Predators are lurking online and on apps looking for children to groom for sex. 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,” said Sheriff, Grady Judd.
Martinez was booked into the Tehama County Jail in California on the Polk County warrant and is being held with no bond. He will be extradited to Polk County at a later date.MORE NEWS: Former Jacksonville Jaguars kicker sues team
This investigation is on-going.