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St. Petersburg man, 29, accused of seeking sex with boy, 13, on Facebook

ST. PETERSBURG — On Facebook, 29-year-old Cornelius Benord Ivery is friends with a 13-year-old boy.

But police said he wanted much more than the teen's friendship.

Ivery, a registered sex offender who served five years in state prison for child porn possession and false imprisonment of a minor, was arrested Monday evening on charges of lewd and lascivious conduct and using the Internet to seduce a child.

Police said Ivery used Facebook to initiate contact with the 13-year-old boy, whose identity was withheld because of his age, but soon took their friendship to a different level.

After he "friended" the boy on the social media site, Ivery began sending text messages suggesting he "hook up" with the teen, specifically mentioning acts of anal and oral sex, police said.

Ivery also sent messages asking the 13-year-old to keep his advances secret, police said.

On Monday, the boy's mother discovered the messages while she was checking her son's phone, police spokesman Mike Puetz said.

"She was shocked by the content of the texts," he said, adding she was unaware of Ivery's status as a registered sex offender.

The teen told police he had never met Ivery in person but knew of him through a 15-year-old friend, who met Ivery at Fossil Skate Park, 6635 Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, officials said.

The 15-year-old, whose identity was also withheld because of his age, told police Ivery would frequent the skate park on Wednesdays and Saturdays, officials said.

"Sounds like he stands out a bit due to his age," Puetz said.

Ivery was arrested just before 10 p.m. Monday at his mother's St. Petersburg home, where he was living. He is being held on $15,000 bail.

Puetz said Ivery admitted to sending the text messages to the teenager but told officers the messages were "just words" and he "seriously wasn't going to do anything."

Monday's arrest is his first since he was released last year from state prison, where he served five years for possessing child pornography and holding a child against their will in Hillsborough County in 2002, records show.

Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Reach Marissa Lang at mlang@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3386.

St. Petersburg man, 29, accused of seeking sex with boy, 13, on Facebook 11/15/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 10:16pm]
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