Monday, February 19, 2018
Public safety

Seminole man, 27, accused of lying about his age and having sex with teen

A 27-year-old Seminole man has been arrested after authorities say he pretended to be a teenager and traveled to Sarasota to have sex with a minor.

Sarasota County sheriff's officials said Andrew Michael Brandt befriended a 15-year-old girl on Tagged.com and told her he was 17. In March, he drove to Sarasota and had sex with her, according to the sheriff's office.

Brandt was arrested Thursday and faces three counts of lewd or lascivious battery on a victim younger than 16 and three counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor.

He is being held in the Pinellas County Jail on $60,000 bail and will eventually be transferred to Sarasota.

Detectives in both counties think there may be other victims. Investigators said Brandt had a Facebook account as Mike Berns and used it to communicate with other young girls. He may also have used the name Andy Berns.

Anyone with information can contact the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office at (941) 861-4900.

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