The Pinellas County sheriff's office has arrested a 33-year-old man in Clearwater Beach for allegedly using his position as a bouncy house attendant to seduce young girls.
The alleged crimes occurred between June and late August, according to Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. He described the victims as two 12-year-old girls from northern Pinellas County. He said the pair met Lopez-Navarro near Pier 60, where he worked on a waterslide, The Ultimate Bounce House.
The suspect allegedly befriended the girls and allowed them to use the slides and bounce house for free. The communication escalated over cellphone.
"Somehow Lopez-Navarro obtained victim No. 1's cellphone number, probably from victim two," he said.
"He is nothing more than a predator engaged in gross and disgusting conduct."
The sheriff says Lopez-Navarro sent explicit text messages, solicited nude photos and became physical with one of the girls.
"Lopez--Navarro put his hands on her inappropriately, on her hips and also kissed her," Sheriff Gualtieri said of one encounter at Clearwater beach. "He began to encourage her to leave her house at night and come over to his house because he wanted to have sex with her. He went so far to explain to this 12-year-old girl she couldn't get pregnant because he had a low sperm count."
Deputies arrested and charged Lopez-Navarro after the girl's older sister discovered the inappropriate text messages on her phone. Parents at Clearwater Beach reacted to the news.
"The furthest thing from my mind. You think they're just out there being a kid," said parent Janice Linnert.
"Sometimes in today's world that's not possible."
Lopez-Navarro has been charged with seducing a child using the internet or an electronic device.
He's behind bars on $100,000 bond. Authorities say more charges could be on the way.
During the interview, detectives said Lopez-Navarro "admitted that he had shared his phone number with various juveniles."
When asked why the 12-year-old girl sent photos, the sheriff had this to say:
"This is a 12-year-old girl. Her response to why she sent the photos is because 'I don't want to be raped.'"
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