An Oldsmar man suspected of selling sex with a missing teen was arrested Thursday and faces multiple charges of human trafficking, child abuse and unlawful sex acts with a minor, detectives with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.
The arrest comes months after detectives found Xavier Vanellison, 27, hiding in the closet of a room at the Tampa Bay Extended Stay Hotel in Largo where he had been staying with a 16-year-old girl, the agency said.
Detectives rescued the girl from the hotel that night, on July 7, and said she had been missing since March 23.
According to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office, the girl told investigators in the agency’s Crimes Against Children Unit that she met Vanellison in May and began working for him by engaging in sexual acts with other men in exchange for money. Detectives investigating the girl’s claims then discovered multiple online profiles they say were created by Vanellison and advertised “the sale of sexual acts” with the missing girl.
Those advertisements offering escort services were then posted to multiple websites and social media platforms, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Detectives also confirmed that Vanellison also was engaged in a sexual relationship with the 16-year-old girl and had taken multiple sexually explicit photos of her, the release said.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, the 27-year-old has been living in a duplex in the 3100 block of Huron Avenue in West Oldsmar.
Vanellison was booked into Pinellas County jail Thursday on 25 different charges, records show. Those include one count of human trafficking, one count of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, one count of child abuse, one count of possession of cocaine, 10 counts of promoting the sexual performance of a child and 11 counts of possession of child pornography.
According to his jail records, his bond has been set at $237,000.