A 63-year-old registered sex offender faces 102 counts of sexual battery after being arrested on suspicion of befriending a family and abusing two boys.
Robert Grafton, of St. Cloud, was arrested Sunday on 102 counts of sexual battery, 25 counts of lewd and lascivious battery and 30 counts of lewd and lascivious conduct.
According to the Osceola County Sheriff's Office, an investigation began when deputies took a report from parents in St. Cloud who said Grafton may have sexually abused their sons, ages 13 and 14.
The parents said they met Grafton several years ago when they lived in the same motel in Kissimmee, and they were not aware that he was a sex offender, according to deputies. The family, which was having financial problems, also lived with Grafton at his St. Cloud home for a time, deputies said.
The Sheriff's Office said Grafton would buy the children clothing, give them money and, most recently, purchased cellphones for them.
The parents told deputies that their boys recently said that they did not want to be around Grafton, and a family friend told them Grafton may be a sex offender, according to deputies. The parents then confirmed the information and called law enforcement, deputies said.
Detectives interviewed the boys, who accused Grafton of sexually battering them since August and as recently as two days ago, the Sheriff's Office said. They believe Grafton abused the boys more than 100 times.
A woman who did not want to be identified said her family knows Grafton well, and did not know that he was a registered sex offender.
"That family, they were homeless they were living in a hotel and I honestly don't know where he met them," she said. "but he brought them in."
The woman also said that now some strange comments he made are looking more like red flags.
"But since he was a family friend, we thought it was okay. Because he was like a genuinely nice guy, like he really was."
Grafton was arrested after being questioned and booked into the Osceola County Jail.
Grafton has been a registered sexual offender in Osceola County since February 2011. He served 15 years in prison in Pennsylvania for a similar crime, deputies said.