Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Public safety

Man accused of molesting Tampa 13-year-old he met online

TAMPA — A 24-year-old St. Petersburg man is facing charges after he drove to Tampa on Sunday and had sexual contact with a 13-year-old girl he met online, according to Tampa police.

Dustin James Haaland contacted the girl through a social networking website that connects people through smartphone text messages, police said. After asking to meet her in person several times, Haaland picked up the girl Sunday evening at her house, police said. The two left together without telling the girl's family.

A short time later, the girl's family reported her missing to police, who began a search.

Meanwhile, Haaland drove the girl to Club Tampa Palms at 16402 W Tampa Palms Blvd., where they sat in his car, according to an arrest report. Haaland tried to get the girl to smoke marijuana but she refused, the report said. Later, he engaged in sex acts with her, police said.

Officers found the two about 1:30 a.m. Monday outside Club Tampa Palms. They searched Haaland and found 7.2 grams of marijuana in his right front pants pocket, the report said. In the car, they also found a pipe with marijuana in it.

Haaland was arrested on charges of lewd and lascivious battery, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, possession of cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was booked in the Orient Road Jail and held on $9,000 bail.

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