POLK COUNTY, Fla. – A 19-year-old was arrested Tuesday after sheriff’s deputies said he manipulated, threatened, and extorted a 10-year-old girl into sending him nude images of herself.
According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Simon “Pete” Anderson used Facebook to communicate with the victim and admitted knowing that the girl was only 10-years-old.
Anderson’s arrest comes after a months-long investigation where a parent of another child was told that Anderson was sending the girl photos of his genitalia.
“During a forensic interview with the victim, she revealed that Anderson, whose Facebook account used the name Pete Anderson, had sent her inappropriate messages and pictures of his (genitalia),” officials said.
According to a news release, the PCSO Computer Crimes Unit searched the victim’s cell phone and discovered multiple messages and images that had been sent from Anderson’s Facebook account.
“The messages on the phone revealed Anderson’s aggressive efforts with the victim. He tried coercing her into sending him nude pictures of herself by threatening to report her to law enforcement, as well as threatening to kill her and himself if she didn’t comply,” deputies added.
According to officials, the girl admitted to sending Anderson photos because she was fearful of his threats.
During an interview with investigators, Anderson admitted that he sent her images of his genitalia.
“He told the detective that they were ‘kind of in a relationship, but not really.' He claimed that he didn’t want to send her the photos of his (genitalia), but he did so ‘to be nice,‘” officials said.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd shared his remarks regarding the investigation.
“As a parent, this kind of a story has got to break your heart, scare you, and make you angry, all at the same time. Sick creeps like this are out there folks…going after innocent children. This is exactly why I say that parents need to be all-up in their child’s business. You need to monitor who they’re communicating with online,” Judd said.
Anderson is charged with extortion, possession of child pornography, three counts of transmitting material harmful to a child and aggravated cyberstalking.
Officials said the investigation is ongoing.