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Florida man molested girl, planned to groom her for sex, officials say

Benjamin Ryan Worster, of Ormond Beach, arrested on several charges

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – An Ormond Beach man was arrested on allegations that he molested a toddler and was grooming her to perform sex acts, according to a charging affidavit.

Benjamin Ryan Worster, 39, was arrested on charges of lewd and lascivious molestation by a person at least 18 years old, lewd and lascivious conduct and possession of photos of sexual performance by a child.

According to the Volusia County charging affidavit, a woman who knew Worster for about four years rented a room in his apartment in December. The woman said her daughter told her that Worster had touched her inappropriately two days after they moved in, according to officials.

The woman said she found Worster unresponsive the day after the girl made the claim, and she called 911 for assistance, according to authorities. He was taken to Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center for treatment, officials said.

The woman said she noticed Worster's cellphone on his bed and saw text messages in which Worster described grooming the girl and getting her comfortable with him for future sex acts, according to the affidavit.

"She started going through the phone and started seeing multiple pictures of her child naked and other children naked and then she contacted us," Officer Keith Walker said.

A search warrant was executed at Worster's apartment, and his phone was turned over to Daytona Beach police, who said they found more than 100 images of child pornography and more text messages Worster had with another person about "grooming" the girl.

The texts suggested that Worster wanted to get the girl "knocked out" so he could "defile" her, officials said.

"Nyquil in large doses I guess works great on kids," one text message said, according to the affidavit.

More graphic text messages followed, officials said.

Detectives interviewed the girl in her mother's presence, and she told authorities that Worster had touched her private parts, according to the affidavit.

Worster was arrested and taken to the Volusia County jail.

Detectives believe there may be additional victims in Volusia County, and an investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about Worster can call the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.