A Groveland man pulled over for a minor traffic violation was arrested Friday after, according to deputies, he was traveling with a 16-year-old runaway he met online.
Robert Regan, 36, was arrested on charges of traveling to meet a minor for sexual activity, unlawful sexual activity with a minor, lewd or lascivious battery and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
According to the Lake County Sheriff's Office, a deputy on patrol late Friday night pulled a vehicle over in Minneola for an improperly lit license tag. Deputies said the teen girl gave a fake home address and said that Regan was her uncle.
After giving several inconsistent explanations as to why she was with Regan, the deputy was able to determine that girl was actually from Mississippi, the Sheriff's Office said.
The deputy contacted the girl's father, who said that he was on vacation in Orlando and thought that his daughter was at home in Mississippi, officials said.
The girl admitted to the deputy and her father that she met Regan online and that he had picked her up about a week ago at her home in Mississippi, according to officials, who said that the duo spent time in Pensacola before traveling to Lake County, staying at the Palace Hotel in Clermont.
"Just the fact that he drove from s. lake all the way to Mississippi to pick her up then brought her all the way that is alarming in itself," said Lt. John Herrell of LCSO.
Deputies said the teen admitted to having sex with Regan on numerous occasions. The teen also told deputies that Regan had wanted to change her appearance buying her dye for her hair so she would look different when they were out in public.
The teen also told deputies that she "didn't feel like she was free to leave the hotel, even when he wasn't there."
"One just never knows what his intentions were or for how long," said Herrell.
Regan was booked in to the Lake County Detention Center with no bond.