Thursday, April 19, 2018
Public safety

Clearwater Beach worker charged with child seduction

CLEARWATER — A 33-year-old man accused of sending sexually explicit text messages to two 12-year-old girls he met during the summer was arrested Wednesday, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

Leonardo Lopez-Navarro of Clearwater met the girls while working at the bouncy house and inflatable slides on Clearwater Beach. He befriended the girls and allowed them to use the bouncy house and slides for free. According to detectives, Lopez-Navarro had "inappropriate physical contact" with the girls.

On Aug. 16, one of the victim's relatives found inappropriate text messages, including requests for nude photos, from Lopez-Navarro on her phone.

The Special Victims Unit began investigating, and obtained a warrant to arrest Lopez-Navarro on Wednesday. He admitted that he shared his phone number with several juveniles.

Lopez-Navarro faces a charge of seduction of a child using the Internet or electronic device. He was booked into the Pinellas County Jail, where he remained Wednesday in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Detectives believe there may be other victims. Anyone with information is asked to call Sheriff's Office Detective Holly Tsanakaliotis of the Special Victims Unit at (727) 582-6200.

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