VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A Volusia County man who was arrested in 2019 for plotting to rape a 3-year-old girl was sentenced Tuesday to 25 years in prison, the state attorney said.
Lafe Best, 40, was found guilty in September on one count of conspiracy to commit sexual battery on a person less than 12 years of age and 11 counts of possession of child pornography. With his sentence he was also designated a sexual predator, court records show.
Best and his friend and sexual partner, Benjamin Worster, 42, exchanged graphic text messages in which they plotted to groom a 3-year-old girl for sexual abuse and eventually molest and rape her, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
The texts began in early December of 2018 when Worster learned a woman and her 3-year-old daughter would be moving in with him as his new roommates. The two men had been texting before the woman and child moved in. They discussed in detail how they would potentially drug the girl, expose her to sexual content and have Best come over to the home so he could have access to her as well, according to the report.
Two days after the woman and child moved in, the girl told her mother Worster had touched her inappropriately. The mother went through Worster’s phone and found the texts along with naked pictures of her daughter and other children, according to law enforcement.
In February, Worster was found guilty of 21 counts of possession of sexual performance by a child enhanced and one count of conspiracy to commit sexual battery on person less than 12 years of age, but has not yet been sentenced. He has two pending charges left, one of lewd or lascivious molestation and another of lewd or lascivious conduct for touching the child.