Sexual predator accused of picking up missing Seminole County teen at gas station

Robert Kelly, 59, faces charges of drug possession and interfering with the custody of a minor

Robert Kelly, 59 (Seminole County Sheriff's Office)

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – A registered sex offender was arrested Monday after he took in a 16-year-old runaway in Seminole County and was accused of sexually assaulting her, police said.

At this time, Kelly is not facing sexual assault charges, according to the arrest report.

Robert Kelly, 59, found a 16-year-old girl at a gas station Sunday who had run away from home and was reported missing, an arrest affidavit shows.

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The teen asked for a ride, which Kelly agreed to, and he took her to an Olive Garden in Sanford for dinner, the affidavit shows. Police said that Kelly provided the teen with an “adult beverage,” even after she said she was 16 years old.

The teen went back to Kelly’s home after dinner, staying the night through Monday, police said. The teen later told police that Kelly had sexually assaulted her and provided the girl with marijuana and crack cocaine, the arrest report shows.

The report says that on Monday, Kelly began driving the girl to a friend’s home, but then pushed her to stay at his home for one more night, and the teen felt pressured to agree.

However, police said that Kelly’s truck ran out of gas on Interstate 4 near Altamonte Springs, and the teen ran to a local Cracker Barrel, where she asked the employees to contact police.

Upon arrest, police said they found crack cocaine in Kelly’s shirt pocket and two bank cards in Kelly’s truck belonging to someone named Zachary Weed, whom Kelly said he didn’t know.

The teen’s father told police that he never gave Kelly permission to take custody of his daughter, and he wished to pursue charges against Kelly, police said.

Kelly faces charges of cocaine possession, possession of drug equipment or paraphernalia, and interfering with the custody of a minor. At the time of this arrest, Kelly had been out on bail for previous charges of cocaine possession and resisting an officer without violence, the arrest report says.

Kelly is a registered sexual predator who was found guilty in 2000 of kidnapping, attempted sexual battery, and lewd or lascivious behavior toward a child, court records show.

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Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined ClickOrlando.com in April 2022.