CLEARWATER — A runaway 12-year-old girl received money in exchange for sex with at least two men at a Clearwater apartment, police said Tuesday.
Arrested late Monday on charges of lewd and lascivious battery were Victorino Panzopanzo, 37, and Abel Calihuamacuixtle, 30. They share the same address — 2690 Drew St., Apt. No. 841 in Clearwater.
Police say an ongoing investigation likely will yield further arrests.
Panzopanzo and Calihuamacuixtle are being held in the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.
During the course of the investigation, police said, 23-year-old Jorge Texmotle-Calihua also was arrested for obstruction for providing a false name to police.
Police say Panzopanzo and Calihuamacuixtle admitted in interviews to having sex with the girl, who isn't being identified because of the nature of the crime.
According to police, the 12-year-old had consensual relations with several men, the exact number of whom was not released Tuesday. Under Florida law, a girl that young cannot legally consent to have sexual relations.
The girl ran away from home on Sunday, police said, and was found Monday at an undisclosed Clearwater apartment. Authorities declined to say how much she was paid in exchange for sex.
Neighbors of Calihuamacuixtle and Panzopanzo at the MacArthur Park apartment complex said Tuesday they were previously suspicious of the two men.
Tameka Pope, a mother of two boys, said she didn't know either of the men involved, but previously complained to the complex's management about the number of people coming and going from the apartment.
Five or six men seemed to always be on the unit's front porch, Pope said.
"Now I don't want to let my kids out there," she said.
Pope originally thought the police who gathered outside the apartment Monday night were there on a drug-related visit. But when Pope's friend Dionne Smith saw a forensics van, they "knew it was something else."
Another neighbor, Moises Cerda, said he saw three girls go into the apartment on Friday. He had never seen the girls before.
The complex's property manager declined to comment Tuesday and wouldn't say whether the men arrested were legally registered to live there.
Police provided few details on the case, but said it did not appear to be part of a larger human trafficking ring.
The girl has been reunited with her family, police said. They declined to say whether she could face charges of prostitution.
Brian Spegele can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.