Palm Coast man accused of stalking, soliciting sex from 15-year-old

Jerome Malerba, 46, faces aggravated stalking, soliciting a minor for unlawful sexual conduct charges

46-year-old Jerome Malerba (Flagler County Sheriff's Office)

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – A Palm Coast man faces charges for stalking and soliciting sex from a 15-year-old girl, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.

In a charging affidavit, deputies said that they were notified of inappropriate behavior between 46-year-old Jerome Malerba of Palm Coast and a 15-year-old victim that was ongoing for two years.

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In July, Malerba’s contact escalated into sending explicit messages and photos to the victim and aggressively demanding sexual favors, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies said that they observed messages sent by Malerba that acknowledged that the victim was a juvenile while he continued to demand sexual favors.

Malerba threatened to hurt the victim if his requests were not met, according to a news release. The victim requested Malerba to stop contacting her multiple times, which he ignored, deputies said.

According to an arrest affidavit, Malerba also followed the victim while the victim was driving to different locations in town.

Deputies said Malerba was served with an injunction on Nov. 17, requiring him to stay away from the victim. An affidavit further shows he violated that injunction on Nov. 20 after he traveled to the victim’s home and initiated “third party contact.”

Detectives obtained a warrant for Malerba’s arrest for aggravated stalking and soliciting a minor for unlawful sexual conduct, according to deputies.

Deputies said they arrested Malerba and he is currently being held at the Flagler County jail on a $150,000 bond.

“This juvenile has been harassed long enough by Malerba. Thankfully it was reported to us, and our major case detectives were able to arrest him and stop his disgusting, perverted behavior. No means no, and if you persist you will go to the Green Roof Inn as this behavior will not be tolerated in our community against our children,” Sheriff Rick Staly said.

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Jacob joined in 2022. He spent 19 years at the Orlando Sentinel, mostly as a photojournalist and video journalist, before joining Spectrum News 13 as a web editor and digital journalist in 2021.