‘I’m a pedophile:’ Hialeah man arrested in Polk County accused of raping 15-year-old

Man had tattoo with victim’s name on his forearm, sheriff says

Erick Rabelo, 27
Erick Rabelo, 27 (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – A man from Hialeah is locked up in Polk County facing accusations he raped a 15-year-old girl.

Deputies arrested Erick Rabelo, 27, Monday shortly after he flew into the Orlando International Airport, as he was traveling to meet the victim.

Investigators said they got involved earlier in the day after the victim’s mother told deputies she received a text from Rabelo claiming he had been dating her daughter for more than a year.

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The victim told deputies that the two met on the social media app Snapchat, according to the release. She said Rabelo had come to her home in July and forced himself on her, deputies said.

Investigators said they recovered texts on the victim’s cell phone from Rabelo. Two of the texts read “you’re right I did rape you” and “I’m a pedophile,” according to a news release.

“The victim’s mom did the right thing by immediately calling us. The detectives working this case were thorough and swift, getting a dangerously twisted man behind bars. This guy is so messed-up that he actually got a tattoo on his forearm with the victim’s name and the date they met on Snapchat,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement.

Following his arrest, deputies said Rabelo admitted to forcing himself on the victim in July.

He faces charges of lewd battery, traveling to meet a minor and unlawful use of two-way communication device.


About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.