VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A 29-year-old DeLand man was arrested after deputies said he sexually battered a 13-year-old girl he met on Snapchat.
Joaquin Mendez was arrested Friday night and charged with lewd or lascivious battery of a victim under 16.
According to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, the incident was reported Friday afternoon, after the girl’s mother found concerning text messages on her daughter’s phone.
“The victim told her mom she had met Mendez on Snapchat and had sex with him that morning after he picked her up in his vehicle and drove her to a wooded area,” VCSO said.
Mendez was arrested around 1:30 a.m. Saturday and is being held at the Volusia County Branch Jail on a $25,000 bond.
“The investigation revealed the Instagram and Snapchat accounts Mendez used to contact the victim displayed images of a young man who wasn’t Mendez,” deputies added.
Authorities encourage parents and guardians to talk with their kids about the risks of chatting with strangers online or over social media apps.
If you discover signs that your child has been sending or receiving sexually explicit messages, images or videos, you’re asked to call the Volusia Sheriff’s Office Child Exploitation Unit at 386-323-3574.