TAMPA — A man accused of offering to pay $20 to have sex with two preschoolers cut off his ankle monitoring bracelet and skipped out on his trial Monday, authorities said.
Kareem Hack, 21, knew he was likely to receive prison time for his September 2006 sex charges. He faced as much as life in prison if convicted this week at trial or a combined lengthy prison sentence and probation if he took a plea offer from prosecutors.
Hillsborough Circuit Judge J. Rogers Padgett issued a warrant for Hack's arrest.
After his initial arrest on allegations that he solicited sex from the young children of a woman he met online, Hack was put on house arrest and ordered to wear an ankle monitor.
An alarm on the monitor alerted Hillsborough sheriff's officials that something was amiss at 10:20 p.m. Sunday, said spokesman J.D. Callaway.
Deputies arrived at Hack's home in Brandon by 10:55 p.m. His father said he didn't realize his son was missing, and Hack's bedroom door was locked, Callaway said.
Deputies removed the door knob. Hack was gone, his monitoring equipment left behind.
It's not the first time a man charged with sex crimes in Hillsborough has removed an ankle monitor and gone on the lam. Vonelle Cook, accused of luring teens into his home to make pornographic films and having sex with one boy, spent several days in an Ocala hotel two years ago before investigators found him.
Prosecutors were prepared to argue at trial that Hack sent graphically worded text messages to a mother, then showed up at a motel room and told her that he wanted to perform sexual acts on her 3-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son in exchange for money.
He was charged with two counts each of solicitation to commit capital sexual battery, attempted capital sexual battery and procuring a person under 18 for prostitution.
Assistant State Attorney Rita Peters expects Hack will face more charges when he is caught.
Defense attorney Danny Fernandez indicated that he now wants off the case, calling his client's absence in court Monday "a bit annoying." Hack had always shown up for prior court dates, Fernandez said.
"I'm really surprised he chose not to attend," the lawyer said.
Colleen Jenkins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or